Former chairman of Glyndebourne’s opera house and festival passes away at 80.

Born the son of Glyndebourne founder Sir John Christie and the opera singer Audrey Mildmay, George Christie succeeded his father at the early age of 23, taking up the reins of the family business. He held the position until 1999 when his own son, Gus Christie, succeeded him.

In 1987 Sir George announced plans to build a new opera house to replace the original that his father had rather haphazardly added onto the family home. These plans were spectacularly realized and the $60 million new house was opened on May 28, 1994, with a production of the same opera that had opened the original opera house  – Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

Other highlights from Sir George’s tenure include the launch of Glyndebourne’s touring arm and, in 1986, the introduction of its education program.

Gus Christie spoke fondly of his father in a statement released yesterday, “His achievements were immense and his friendship cherished by many, not least by those lucky enough to have worked with him directly.”

“As a family we listened to the first act of Der Rosenkavalierfrom the 1965 Glyndebourne recording last night with him. He has...