ENO Evolve gives third and fourth year undergraduates from the Royal College of Music the opportunity to work with the ENO orchestra, providing invaluable experience and insight into life as a professional musician.
“ENO has been an incredible experience. I have been able to see a professional orchestra perform and rehearse and I’ve definitely learned not only what it will be like to rehearse in a professional context, but also my love and appreciation for opera” – Felicity
The scheme is the only programme in the UK to offer students the chance to work alongside a dedicated full-time opera orchestra.
Each season 15 students join the orchestra for selected productions within ENO’s season.
During this time the students shadow the orchestra from orchestra alone rehearsals, through Sitzproben – the rehearsals at which the singers join the orchestra – to onstage rehearsals at the London Coliseum.
“It gave me a very close insight to the world of operas, and the mentors were very friendly and generous with any help/questions we needed” – Haim
Students are invited to attend, and observe final preparations before the dress rehearsal and wherever possible play in some of the stage and orchestra rehearsals.
Throughout the season every student is invited to attend the dress rehearsal of all ENO’s productions, in order to gain as much opera experience as possible.
In recent seasons, students have worked on La traviata, War Requiem, The Magic Flute, and the world premiere performance of Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel.
A number of alumni from the scheme have been invited back to work with the orchestra on particular projects or productions and many are now regular extra members of the orchestra.
It definitely has been a worthwhile experience – I have since been booked frequently as an extra and so have that important info on my orchestral CV – which has enabled me to be invited to audition for professional orchestras.” – Lydia
The ENO Evolve scheme seeks to create a supportive environment for students to learn and help them prepare for life as professional musicians.
Everyone who takes part in the scheme is also offered individual lessons and an audition masterclass, as well as being assigned a personal player mentor.
“My mentors were really inspiring and I really aspire to be doing what they’re doing one day.” – Nick
ENO Evolve Mentors are
Alison Martin (Harp)
Becky Smith (Trombone)
Caroline Gough (Cello)
Claire Wickes (Flute)
Dave Spencer (Violin II)
Helen Vigurs (Oboe)
Jacqui Miles (Violin I)
John Thurgood (Horn)
Mick Doran (Percussionist)
Nick Hitchens (Tuba)
Rob Ault (Clarinet)
Rupert Ring (Double Bass)
Ruth Bolister (Oboe)
Will O’Sullivan (Trumpet)
ENO Evolve is generously supported by The Lord and Lady Lurgan Trust, EMI Music and Sound Foundation, The Andor Charitable Trust, Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust and The Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust.