On Thursday 19 April, one of the hottest days of 2018 so far, English National Opera celebrated women in opera with a specially curated concert and dinner in the historic Gibson Hall, hosted by Classic FM presenters Anne-Marie Minhall and Margherita Taylor.
Guests were greeted for a reception amongst iconic pieces of set, costume and props from past ENO productions. The concert, under the baton of ENO Head of Music Martin Fitzpatrick, and with the ENO Orchestra and ladies of the ENO Chorus, showcased some of the leading ladies of opera. Emma Bell, Susan Bullock CBE, Lesley Garrett CBE, Janis Kelly and Sarah Tynan, along with ENO Harewood Artist Elgan Llyr Thomas, delighted with operetta and opera alike.
The focus of the evening was to celebrate Lilian Baylis, ENO founder and iconic theatre manager. Her vision of “opera for all” continues to inspire ENO Baylis, the organisation’s learning and participation programme, which offers a range of opportunities for people of all ages to engage with opera.
Thanks to the generous pledges, silent and live auction bidding from both guests on the evening and online, this celebration evening raised over £200,000 which will help us continue to make great opera accessible to the widest, most diverse audiences, and stage world-class productions which inspire, surprise and captivate, as well as enhance our work in the fields of Learning and Talent Development, through our Baylis and Harewood Artists programmes.