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ENO Community Choir: FAQs

Find out more about the choir

What is the ethos of the choir?
As part of the ENO Baylis community programme, the choir provides an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together for regular singing. We strive to maintain a welcoming, inclusive and supportive atmosphere.

Joining the choir includes opportunities to sing with professional opera singers and attend dress rehearsals of ENO productions at the London Coliseum, as well as to benefit from the expertise within the company. We sing material from operas in our current season to open up the variety of music performed by ENO, as well as a range of other repertoire including folk, gospel and show tunes.

Who can join the choir? Are there auditions?
The choir is open to all (age 16+). Everyone has the right to take part, regardless of their singing experience or ability. Each term we create the opportunity for new members to join the choir, and operate booking on a termly basis. There is no audition process; all we ask is a commitment to take part, to learn the music and attend weekly rehearsals.

Do I need to be able to read music to take part?
You don’t need to be able to read music to join the choir. The Choir Leaders work through the music with everyone at the same pace. Practice tracks and word sheets are available to members of the choir to aid learning outside of choir sessions. We provide sheet music for those who do read music.

What do we ask of our members?
We ask that members commit to attending at least 8 of the 10 sessions each term. With regular attendance, we are able to support the choir to achieve a great sound and learn repertoire off copy.

If you are unable to attend a rehearsal please inform the Baylis team in advance by email. If you miss two rehearsals in a row without informing us, we reserve the right to offer your place to someone on our reserve list.

We ask that all members of the choir are respectful to other choir members at all times, and that verbal and written communication with the ENO Baylis team is always courteous and respectful.

How much does it cost?
As part of ENO’s commitment to making opera accessible to all, we strive to keep membership fees as low as possible, and offer concessionary rates as well as a number of free or pay what you can places each term, to remove economic barriers.

Full price: £50
Concessions: £30 (over 65, students, and those in receipt of benefits)
If the concessionary rate is prohibitive, please call the ENO Baylis team on 020 7632 8484 for a friendly, confidential conversation.

The membership fee helps towards the administration and practical costs of running the choir. We are grateful to Shaftesbury PLC for their generous support which helps to keep costs down for all participants.

Where and when does the choir meet?
The choir meets on Wednesday evenings, 7-9pm. Each term is typically 10 sessions long, with 1 week break near the middle of the term and a performance in the final session.

Choir rehearsals take place in central London, typically at ENO’s rehearsal studios at 165 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, NW6 3AX.

How can I book my place and stay up to date with the Community Choir?
We send out a termly newsletter to everyone on our community mailing list, notifying them of upcoming choir dates and other singing and performance opportunities for adults. Dates are also published on our community programme dates and booking page.

General booking opens a few weeks before the start of each term. Once booking opens, you can book a place and pay your membership fee in the following ways: online, by phoning our Box Office on 020 7845 9300, or booking in person at the London Coliseum Box Office. You will receive an email confirmation from the ENO Baylis team, with further information on the term ahead.

What is priority booking and who is it for?
We offer one week priority booking to people who have taken part in the choir over the preceding year. The choir benefits from the commitment of regular members who contribute to maintaining the high musical standards and welcoming atmosphere of the choir, and we are always pleased when people want to return.

We also offer one week priority booking to individuals who have taken part in other ENO community projects in order to offer them a regular singing opportunity, and to individuals from our partner organisations, including Streetwise Opera and the Choir with No Name.

Due to capacity limitations, we cap the number of choir places available through priority booking each term in order to enable new members to join. To be as fair as possible we offer all places on a first come first served basis. We are unable to guarantee everyone eligible for priority booking a place each term.

Am I able to come along and try it out before joining?
If you are interested in joining, we create opportunities for people to come along to a weekly rehearsal to try out the choir. The end of term concert for friends and family is also a good opportunity to see the choir in action and meet current members. If you would like to come along to a session before booking for the following term, please email us and a member of the ENO Baylis team will be in touch with dates and details.

What else can I get involved with?
Know the Show workshops
We produce one-day singing and drama workshops each term. These are designed to open up the music and stories of productions in the current ENO season, helping to prepare people for attending a performance. Led by a director and music director, participants work on several chorus scenes from the opera and sing alongside professional soloists. These workshops are a great way to learn about different repertoire and further develop vocal and performance skills. These workshops are also unauditioned and open to all.

Intergenerational community projects
We produce special projects each year, developed in response to an opera in our current season.
We share details of these and opportunities to get involved via the community mailing list.

What if I have a question that’s not covered here?
Please feel free to call us on 020 7632 8484 or email baylis@eno.org with ‘ENO Community Choir’ as the subject line.