(14 December 1882 - 4 July 1962) was an English landowner
. He was the founder of the Glyndebourne Opera House
and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera
at his home at Glyndebourne
, near Lewes
Born to a wealthy landed family in Eggesford
, Christie was educated at Eton College
and Trinity College, Cambridge
, later spending seven years at Eton as a master. He served in the trenches
in the First World War
with the King's Royal Rifle Corps
, despite partial blindness, was awarded the Military Cross
, and reached the rank of Captain
. Having been given the Glyndebourne
Estate for his own use he began to develop local enterprises there from 1920 onwards.
In 1931 he married the Canadian soprano Audrey Mildmay
, and together they planned to build an opera theatre as an annex to the main house. This was completed in 1934 and the first season, which featured Mozart
's Le nozze di Figaro
and Cosi fan tutte
, conducted by Fritz Busch
was an immediate success.
In succeeding years Christie continued to finance the Glyndebourne Festival Opera himself but after World War II
, during which the opera season was suspended, the costs became harder to bear. Eventually however he succeeded in getting commercial sponsorship, placing the Festival on a sound footing and enabling to aspire to the highest artistic standards. His legacy is an institution that still flourishes and receives international acclaim.
In 1954 John Christie was made a Companion of......