Almost 1,000 audience members due to attend Longborough Festival Opera this season have chosen to donate the value of their tickets, generating a fund of over £300,000. Longborough would like to thank its audience and members for this extraordinary generosity.

Executive Director Jennifer Smith comments: “We are overwhelmed by the number of people who have chosen to donate some or all of the value of their tickets. We are so grateful to our audience and members for their incredible generosity at this difficult time.”

Of the £300,000 raised, £200,000 will go directly to the freelance artists involved in each of the 2020 festival’s four productions. The remainder will be used to develop further work for artists this year, as well as to help the organisation mitigate upcoming financial uncertainty. As a privately-funded charity, Longborough relies on ticket income to sustain its work.

Bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones, who would have made his Longborough debut as Wotan in Die Walküre this year, said: “This immensely thoughtful contribution is of such value, in terms of both financial and moral support, at this challenging time. Thank you so much to all who have contributed so generously in money, time and thought to the fund – your efforts are greatly appreciated.”

Artistic Director Polly Graham comments: “The majority of the money will go directly to the freelance artists involved in the 2020 festival, as a contribution towards the work they have lost with us. We hope that it will offer some comfort and support to those who have lost essential income. Some will also be used to sustain the festival’s work as a whole, ensuring that we can welcome our artists and audience back as soon as we can. Thanks to this remarkable show of support from our audience, the show will go on.”