Director Observership for Ethnically Diverse Directors

Our Director Observerships were launched in 2019 as an opportunity for those from ethically diverse backgrounds to observe the process of directing and creating an opera.

The observership offers the opportunity to work alongside world-renowned opera directors, observing the entire process of directing an opera from start to finish. Observers (who are paid) are also given an insight into the day-to-day workings of a large national company, from stage management and company office to technical and production.

This forms part of ENO’s diversity strategy which reflects our commitment to nurturing diverse talent and making the opera industry, including performers, creatives and those working behind the scenes, more accessible and representative of the society in which we live.

The Director Observers for 2022/23 are:

Francesca Hsieh

Observing Tosca

Francesca Hsieh is an Asian-American director and theatremaker based in London.

She has her MA in Theatre Directing from Royal Holloway, University of London, where she studied with director Katie Mitchell and worked with theatre company Complicité.

Prior to this, she completed her BFA in Musical Theatre Performance at the University of Utah. Directing credits include Shakespearean Support Group (Standby for Places – podcast streaming on all platforms), Cocaine Triptych (Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, winner of Outstanding Live Production), and Mary Stuart (Pioneer Theatre Company, assistant director).

An advocate for equity and anti-racism in the arts, her work has been featured in Classical Singer Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, and the Salt Lake Tribune.

Harri Compton

Observing It’s a Wonderful Life

Harri (they/she) has just graduated university and is now pursuing a career in theatre focussed on directing, stage management, and lighting design.

They are thrilled to have been given this opportunity by the ENO as someone who has always enjoyed opera and is especially interested in bringing the art form to a wider audience and showcasing newer works.

Harri has previous experience in amateur theatre and in the past has taken shows up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, stage-managed amateur musical productions, and created the lighting design for an amateur production of Curtains. In their final year of university they directed The Laramie Project and co-directed a production of 9 to 5.