Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 17:12 UK

Glyndebourne celebrates 75 years

Glyndebourne gardens during the festival (Photo by Mike Hoban)
The anniversary season will begin with a production of Verdi's Falstaff

Celebrations for Glyndebourne's 75th anniversary are under way on the first night of its annual opera festival.

The world-renowned opera house in East Sussex was founded in 1934 and has hosted many leading opera singers.

The festival season, which begins with a new production of Verdi's Falstaff, will celebrate the anniversaries of Baroque composers Handel and Purcell.

Glyndebourne's general director David Pickard said the opera house would build on its heritage this year.

"An anniversary is a time to reflect, but more vitally it is a chance to look to the future," he said.

"Glyndebourne will build on the heritage of its past by nurturing new generations of artists, developing the strengths of ensemble casting and allowing ample rehearsal time."

The Glyndebourne Festival runs from May until August each year and is attended by about 85,000 people.

Glyndebourne won permission last year to build a controversial 70m (230ft) wind turbine to power the opera house.

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