The Moderate Soprano

The Moderate Soprano

3.8 (4) · Contemporary

David Hare’s new play, first seen at Hampstead Theatre, is the story of an intense love affair and the unrelenting search for artistic excellence in the face of searing scrutiny, sacrifice and the impending Second World War.


The two great passions in John Christie’s life were opera and a beautiful young soprano, Audrey Mildmay, with whom he was completely smitten. Together with his formidable drive, they fuelled what many first saw as a monumental folly in the South Downs. Glyndebourne was triumphantly born amidst stiff manhattans, rolling lawns and the sound of sheep from across the HaHa. It was to become revered the world over.

Such was the scale of the enterprise that love alone was not enough. When a famous violinist was fogged in overnight in Eastbourne, Christie first heard of a group of refugees for whom life in Nazi Germany had become impossible. Perhaps they could help deliver Christie’s vision of the sublime – assuming of course they would be willing to cast Audrey as the leading light.

Critic reviews

Hits the high notes


Full of insight and empathy

Whats on Stage

Allam is, as ever, a master of the dry one-liner

Evening Standard

Hare’s very English story of these Glyndebourne oddballs lives up to its name

The Times

Plenty of talk but few conclusions in David Hare’s play about the birth of Glyndebourne opera house

Financial Times


Time Out

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 5 Apr - Sat 30 Jun, 7.30pm & 2.30pm


St Martin's Lane WC2N 4BG London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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