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
Otello (Thursday 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 (Saturday 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 (Wednesday 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 (Saturday 7 June)
Guests: Philippa Glanville, historian and specialist in decorative arts, plus Leah Hausman, assistant director and choreographer.
Cosi Fan Tutte (Saturday 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 (Tuesday 4 March)
Jonathan Keates, writer and Handel specialist, plus Richard G. Jones ENO Staff Director and Performance by soprano Eleanor Dennis accompanied by Christopher Bucknall
Rigoletto (Thursday 20 Feburary)
Bob Holland, ENO producer and Sarah Lenton, opera and theatre historian discuss Rigoletto, Verdi's tragic tale of passion, revenge and sacrifice.
Peter Grimes (Saturday 1 February)
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 (Tuesday 26 November)
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 (Tuesday 12 November)
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 (Wednesday 16 October)
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 (Wednesday 9 October)
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 (Friday 27 September)
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)