ENO Response is a critics training scheme, funded by the English National Opera and run impartially, in partnership with The Critics’ Circle across the opera seasons at the London Coliseum.
It exists to increase the range of voices and perspectives that contribute to opera’s national conversation, and is part of the ENO’s commitment as a leading arts organisation to develop talent across all areas of the art form. We actively encourage applications from those who are underrepresented in opera and the arts industry, and those based outside London.
Responders receive a free ticket to attend each of the ENO’s operas across a season. After attending, participants have 48 hours to submit their review while sticking to a 450 word limit. All participants are partnered with mentors from The Critics’ Circle and once they submit their reviews, they meet with their mentor to receive tailored feedback and advice on their writing. Participants then send their reviews to the ENO Response Team where all reviews are treated with complete impartiality and published on the ENO website. The ENO won’t have – and has never had – any say in the content of their reviews.
Participants also benefit from a series of group masterclasses with industry professionals throughout the season – led by opera creatives, editors and critics – to provide a broader understanding of the industry, critical writing and opera.
Who are the Critics Circle
The Critics’ Circle has existed since 1913 to protect cultural criticism and has always had the critics of the daily national papers as the core of its membership.
The Critics’ Circle today has 490 members shared between theatre, music, film, dance, visual arts and books.
Carol, 2021/22 Season:
‘If you are interested in writing, this is the scheme to do. Fantastic mentors, great opportunities and unforgettable music all in one.’
Patrick, 2021/22 Season:
‘Huge fun and massively educational. I learnt a lot and got to see some marvellous opera.’
Grace, 2021/22 Season:
‘A really rewarding experience that allows you to build on an interest and discover where your own voice sits in relation to the reviewing world.’