ENO’s pre-performance talks are the perfect introduction to the season’s productions for both opera newcomers and seasoned opera-goers.
Hosted by BBC journalist and broadcaster, Christopher Cook, guests will include opera experts and enthusiasts plus members of the creative and production teams to give exciting insights behind the scenes. We also include a performance by ENO singers and members of the ENO music staff.
Join Christopher and guests in the Balcony Bar for 45 minutes of lively conversations, insights and music.
Previous pre-performance talks
The Indian Queen (March 2015)
Opera and theatre historian Sarah Lenton and conductor Laurence Cummings discuss Purcell's The Indian Queen.
The Mastersingers of Nuremberg (February 2015)
John Deathridge musicologist, Gonzalo Acosta Assoc. Leader and Ruth Bolister Principal Oboe, ENO Orchestra, join Christopher Cook for a pre-show discussion of Wagner's The Mastersingers of Nuremberg.
Performance by tenor Anthony Flaum, tenor, covering the role of David, accompanied by Kelvin Lim.
La traviata (February 2015)
Christopher Cook talks to Dr Aoife Monks, reader in drama, theatre and performance studies at Queen Mary University and Christina McGlynn Head of Costume at ENO.
Performance by soprano Sarah Redgwick covering the role of Violetta, accompanied by Andrew Smith.
The Gospel According to the Other Mary (27 November 2014)
Christopher Cook talks to director Peter Sellars about The Gospel According to the Other Mary.
Performance by mezzo-soprano Sarah Pring covering the role of Mary Magdalene, accompanied by Murray Hipkin.
La bohème (3 November 2014)
Christopher Cook talks to Italian opera specialist Flora Willson and ENO staff director Matthew Monaghan about La bohème.
Performance by soprano Joanne Appleby covering the role of Musetta, accompanied by ENO's Richard Peirson.
The Marriage of Figaro (23 October 2014)
Christopher Cook talks to Figaro librettist and translator Jeremy Sams plus production manager Sheelagh Barnard.
Performance by bass-baritone Frederick Long accompanied by Andrew Smith, member of ENO’s music staff.
The Girl of the Golden West (15 October 2014)
Christopher Cook talks to Italian opera specialist Roger Parker plus conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson.
Performance by soprano Naomi Harvey covering the role of Minnie, accompanied by Andrew Smith, member of ENO’s music staff.
Otello (25 September 2014)
Christopher Cook talks to movement director Maxine Braham and conductor/ENO music director Edward Gardner about David Alden's production of Otello.
Performance by tenor Ronald Samm, accompanied by Martin Fitzpatrick.
Xerxes (20 September 2014)
Berta Joncus, musicologist and Handel expert joins Michael Walling, revival director for a pre-show discussion.
Performance by mezzo-soprano Sarah Champion accompanied by Martin Pacey.
The Pearl Fishers (18 June)
Richard Langham Smith, Bizet specialist plus Geoff Summerton, ENO’s technical director, talk about the stunning underwater sequences used in English National Opera's production of Bizet's Pearl Fishers.
Benvenuto Cellini (7 June)
Guests: Philippa Glanville, historian and specialist in decorative arts, plus Leah Hausman, assistant director and choreographer.
Cosi Fan Tutte (22 May)
Guests: Ryan Wigglesworth, conductor and ENO’s composer in residence plus plus Sarah Lenton, opera and theatre historian, discuss Phelim McDermott's production of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte.
Rodelinda (4 March 2014)
Jonathan Keates, writer and Handel specialist, plus Richard G. Jones ENO Staff Director and Performance by soprano Eleanor Dennis accompanied by Christopher Bucknall
Rigoletto (20 Feburary 2014)
Bob Holland, ENO producer and Sarah Lenton, opera and theatre historian discuss Rigoletto, Verdi's tragic tale of passion, revenge and sacrifice.
Peter Grimes (1 February 2014)
Philip Reed, writer and Britten specialist plus three members of the ENO Orchestra: William Lockhart timpani, Catherine Haggo first violin, John Thurgood horn.
Performance by soprano Claire Mitcher accompanied by Martin Pacey.
With apologies for the quality of sound recording on part of this podcast.
Satyagraha (26 November 2013)
Elaine Tyler-Hall, ENO Staff Director plus Laurie Steiner, ENO Flys Supervisor.
Performance by tenor Philip Sheffield in his cover role as M.K. Ghandi (accompanied by Nicholas Ansdell-Evans).
The Magic Flute (12 November 2013)
Simon McBurney, Director plus Sarah Lenton, Opera & Theatre Historian.
Performance by baritone Christopher Jacklin in his cover role as Papageno (accompanied by Soojeong Joo).
Madam Butterfly (16 October 2013)
Arman Schwartz, Puccini / Italian opera specialist plus Helen Wake, Senior Technician, ENO Wigs and Make-up
Performance by Katie Bird in her cover role as Cio-Cio San (accompanied by Murray Hipkin).
Die Fledermaus (9 October 2013)
David Nice, broadcaster and music journalist plus Jan Pohl on his role as Frosch
Performance by Clare Eggington in her cover role as Adele (accompanied by Murray Hipkin)
Fidelio (27 September 2013)
Edward Gardner, ENO's Music Director plus Maria Delgado, Professor of Theatre
Performance by Natalie Montakhab in her cover role as Marzelline (accompanied by Nicholas Ansdell-Evans)