Launched in 2008 by ENO Music Director, Edward Gardner, ENO Evolve gives third and fourth year undergraduate students from the Royal College of Music the opportunity to work closely with the ENO Orchestra.
It is the only scheme in the UK to provide students with the experience of working with a dedicated full-time opera orchestra and offers them an invaluable insight into life as a professional musician.
Each season, 15 students join the orchestra for two or three ENO productions. During this time, the students shadow the orchestra through all offstage rehearsals, including the Sitzprobe – the first rehearsal at which the singers join the orchestra and questions of balance and musical blend are addressed. When rehearsals move onstage at the London Coliseum, students are invited to attend and observe final preparations before the Dress Rehearsal.
In previous seasons, students have worked on Boris Godunov, Peter Grimes, Turandot, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, The Rite of Spring, Tosca, Der Rosenkavalier and Wozzeck. A number of alumni from the scheme have been invited back to work with the Orchestra on particular projects or productions, many of whom are now regular extra members of the orchestra.
ENO seeks to create a supportive environment and help prepare students for life in the music profession. All participants in the scheme are offered individual lessons and masterclasses, as well as being assigned a personal player mentor.