Glyndebourne: Unheard Melodies Range by alej ez

Glyndebourne Range & Glyndebourne Festival Mug

in 2023 I have worked for Glyndebourne to design a first and new Glyndebourne Range of lovely beautiful products. Thank you Glyndebourne and Phillipa MacDermott. What a wonderful project that I have named ‘Unheard Melodies’. Additional to the mug you can buy many other beautiful things I have also designed: silk scarfs, tea towels, notebooks, tote bags, wrapping paper and more. All carefully designed. If not today, very soon all of it available at Glyndebourne Shop and online.

The Glyndebourne Festival Mug celebrates and records in writing for each year the operas of the festival. Which are for 2023 the stunning new productions of Don Giovanni, Semele and Dialogues des Carmélites plus the much loved productions of L’elisir d’amore, The Rake’s Progress and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

17th May 2023 presentation of Glyndebourne Festival Mug ‘Unheard Melodies’ by alej ez.

The name for the Glyndebourne Range relates to Keats’ poem titled ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’. It happened that I was reading Keats’ letters while I was drawing the designs. Reading his letters made me interested in reading this poem in which Keats, full of excitement, imagines extraordinary music played by the ancient figures depicted in stone on one urn.

Our designs depict actual elements found in Glyndebourne: stone figures such as John Christie’s pugs, Audrey Mildmay, the lady of the lake, and others; garden features such as the Garden Urn, the Fountain at Mary Christie Rose Garden. In my design, musical instruments are shown hanging from the garden timber pergolas and resting against the porcelain urns of the Organ Room. Sheep roam around the lawns among pheasants and peacocks and architectural maquette size representations of the main buildings including the Music Auditorium, Glyndebourne House and the new Production Hub are displayed along roses, the garden benches and garden loggias.

Glyndebourne Range. Scarf design process using collage by alej ez. 21st February 2023

In my design, all of these elements are displayed in silence – they hold in our imagination not only unheard melodies, such as the Lady of the Lake or Audrey Mildmay, but also unheard stories, like the pugs or the Horse Head, stories about their life and reason to be. They are doors to the imagination and they pose real questions. They arouse similar emotions we feel when we attend an opera for the first time: the lifting of the curtains to display a world never seen before and the excitement before listening to magical and beautiful unheard melodies.

Glyndebourne Range design process: Drawing of a portrait of Audrey Mildmay by alej ez.

With Phillipa MacDermott on 17th May 2023

during the dress rehearsal of Don Giovanny

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