Stuart Skelton talks about his upcoming gala performance in celebration of ENO
On the 10 October 2013, acclaimed tenor Stuart Skelton will host an evening of operatic entertainment in celebration of ENO at Cadogan Hall. Joining him will be Iain Paterson, Leigh Melrose, Pamela Helen Stephen and Sarah Tynan, to peform arias and songs from the world of opera and musical theatre. The evening will raise funds for ENO's pioneering talent programmes, including the prestigious ENO Harewood Artists programme. In this guest news story, Stuart writes about why he wanted to hold the event...
I’m a Sydney boy, born and raised, and these days I’m based in the United States. But my home opera company is most definitely English National Opera. I first sang here back in 2006 as Laca in Jenufa and it’s no exaggeration to say that my ENO debut was also my big break in London. I’ve sung here pretty much every year since, and each time ENO asks me back, I do my utmost to say yes. I’ve been lucky enough to sing some of my favourite roles here and it is always like coming home. ENO is a fantastically supportive and loyal company who are truly dedicated to fostering operatic talent, and I’m thrilled any time I have a chance to contribute to the future of that mission.
That’s why I was so keen to make this gala concert happen. You’ve probably seen a lot of concerts billed as “Such-and-such and Friends” and wondered how well they all got on behind the scenes. But I can tell you right now, the singers we’ve got lined up for the show really are some of my greatest friends. They’re also some of my favourite singers on the planet, and above all, they’re all singers who, like me, owe a debt of gratitude to the support offered by ENO. Iain Paterson, Leigh Melrose and Sarah Tynan were all Young Artists with the company and continue to sing here regularly, and both Pamela Helen Stephen and I feel like honorary members of that same family. It’s a great tribute to ENO that these wonderful singers and colleagues agreed so readily to be a part of this concert.
We’ve all been given amazing opportunities by ENO, whether debuting new roles or getting better acquainted with familiar repertoire by singing it in our native language. Opera is not an easy career for anyone and those starting out need all the support and chances to perform that they can get. ENO’s Harewood Artists programme is a really special one. It offers a wide range of performing opportunities and an incredible degree of mentoring in just about every aspect of opera you can imagine, from voice and movement coaching to performance psychology. I think the list of singers who’ve come through ENO’s programme – not to mention those currently involved – speaks for itself. These really are some of the finest singers in Britain, and they’re doing both themselves and ENO proud.
That’s why I’m so looking forward to this gala in celebration of ENO. We’re all very excited about the programme we’ve put together and I have a feeling that everyone who comes along will really enjoy it too. There’ll be some arias you’ve heard us sing at ENO before and some new things as well. It’s a great chance for anyone who loves ENO, singers and audience members alike, to show their support for all the great work that the company does to foster the future of opera in Britain. Personally I can’t wait, and I hope to see lots of you there!
An Evening with Stuart Skelton and Friends
10 October, 7.30pm at Cadogan Hall
Tickets cost £30 (gallery) and £50 (stalls) and include a donation to ENO. A select number of VIP tickets including dinner post-show with the singers are also available. Please call our Development department to book post-show dinner tickets on 020 7845 9474.
Book online at cadoganhall.com or by calling their Box Office on 020 7730 4500