How Your Money Helps
ENO produces more new productions than any other opera house in the world, winning all four UK opera awards in 2009. We maintain our commitment to employing top British artists and training emerging talent through programmes such as ENO Young Singers, ENO Evolve and ENO Opera Works.
Even with strong ticket sales, the cost of running a full time repertory opera cannot be covered by box office revenue and public funding alone.
In order to maintain our international reputation for award winning, innovative productions and for nurturing talent we need support from individuals, companies and trusts.
Here are examples of a few behind-the-scenes costs that show why the production of great opera requires support:
Here is how your donations help develop young talent
Coaching for Young Singers
Individual coaching sessions cost £360 per day. Private singing lessons cost £50 and young singers receive two per month. We also offer help to our young singers including language coaching and performance psychology at a total cost of £240 per month.
Participation in ENO Evolve
Cost: £500 per student per annum
Each year, ENO works with 20 students from the Royal College of Music, offering them the opportunity to join our orchestra for rehearsals with Edward Gardner our Music Director. They also receive lessons and master classes from our musicians and the annual cost of their participation is £500 per student.
Participation in ENO Opera Works
Cost: £1,000 per student
ENO Opera Works offers training and development to adult singers who aspire to a professional career. The course focuses on the whole range of skills required in operatic performance, including not only singing but movement, choreography, acting and character development.
Here is how your donations support our productions
To create a wig
To create the stylised look seen in productions like The Mikado, synthetic wigs can be purchased and re-styled at a cost of £200. The cost of creating a period wig from scratch in productions such as The Barber of Seville is much higher. Sourcing human hair, creating a wig wrap of a singer’s head, making a lace foundation and hand knotting the hair into the foundation can cost as much as £800. We are one of the few companies who produce our own wigs on-site.
To create a costume
To create a modern, contemporary look, costumes can range from £200-£500. However period costumes for productions such as The Merry Widow are hand-made and hand-embroidered and can cost upwards of £2,000-£5,000. This includes period shoes, fabric, having a tailor cut the fabric and sewing the costume together.
To create a small prop
Average cost: £600
To build a small prop such as the ornate gold box used in our production of Messiah, the cost is approximately £600 which would involve taking a plain Perspex box, altering its shape, creating silicon moulds to add detail, attaching feet and applying gold leaf to the entire piece.
Replacement bulbs for theatrical lighting rigs
Cost: £10 - £250 each
These bulbs are used in everything from general stage lighting to the spots that follow principals around the stage. They burn at 400 degrees centigrade and we go through approximately 400 each season.
Spotlight lamp fittings
The lamps that hold follow spot bulbs have a life span of ten years. Since moving to the London Coliseum, each lamp would have been replaced about four times.
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Opera is an expensive business. Arts Council support accounts for half of our funding. Every £1 from public sources is matched by income generated by ENO.
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