Open Opera

A celebration of culture, community and creativity at the London Coliseum, as part of Refugee Week 2022

It was hugely moving to see our refugee community make new connections, experience joy in the workshop and also when trying on the costumes and having such a superb time engaging with the music and with their bodies.’
Feedback from an Open Opera attendee

As part of Refugee Week 2022 and in conversation with Counterpoints Arts, a leading national organisation in the field of arts, migration and cultural change, we invited refugee groups and individuals who have been displaced to join us at the London Coliseum for an open afternoon of creativity, singing and pop up performances.

Some of the activities enjoyed on the day were:

    • Costume workshops, using mannequins to create your own costume using different materials
    • Trying on costumes from previous ENO operas (and having a selfie or two)
    • Tours of the London Coliseum theatre, including unique stories about the building’s past
    • A participatory singing and rhythm workshop, sharing songs from different countries and culture
    • Pop up performances of operatic hits from Gershwin’s Summertime to Bizet’s Toreador, including a wonderful rendition of a popular Ukrainian folk song Moon on the Sky.

This event took place in June 2022 and was an opportunity for us to open our doors and engage with refugee organisations and individuals. We are looking to continue developing this programme of work; exploring how opera and singing can be a tool for social change, inviting refugee groups to take part in creative activities and having their voices heard.

‘I’m sure it has made very positive changes for people at a physiological level and the memories created are lovely.’

“My family went to the ENO event and they have come home transformed – their hearts have been lifted on what must be a difficult day for those who come from Kyiv (and sadly everywhere else).”

Feedback from Open Opera attendees

If you are a refugee group or organisation, you can join our Community Membership scheme and have access to free tickets, dress rehearsals and creative opportunities by signing up for your group here: Adult Community | ENO.

If you are a refugee group or organisation wanting to develop a more bespoke partnership with the ENO, please get in touch: [email protected].

If you are a refugee or migrant and would like to hear more about creative and artistic opportunities for individuals, please get in touch: [email protected].