What is ENO Studio Live?

Our 2016/17 season saw the launch of an exciting new initiative which allowed audiences to experience opera in a way like never before. ENO Studio Live allows us to put on opera productions in smaller, intimate spaces. It gives members of the ENO Chorus principal roles; and showcases some exceptional young talent.

What can I see?

As part of ENO Studio Live, we will be putting on performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Britten’s Paul Bunyan for the very first time.

Handel’s opera, based on an episode from Roman Poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses, tells the tale of love between the nymph Galatea, and shepherd, Acis. Directing the production is Sarah Tipple, who recently revived Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance and Anthony Minghella’s Madam Butterfly for ENO. Have a read of our introductory guide to find out a bit more about the pastoral opera.

Paul Bunyan is an operetta based on the American folklore tale of the giant Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox, Babe. You can find out a bit more about the tall-tale behind Benjamin Britten’s operetta here. Following his success with The Day After, part of 2017 Studio Live, regular ENO staff director Jamie Manton will be directing this production.

Handel and Britten have played an important role in ENO’s history…

The English National Opera has long been known as ‘the house of Handel’, and since 1970 we’ve performed twelve different operas by the composer. Don’t know much about the composer himself? Have a read of our beginner’s guide to Handel.

Britten’s music has been at the heart of ENO ever since Sadler’s Wells opera (which went on to become the English National Opera in 1974) premiered Britten’s Peter Grimes. Alongside Paul Bunyan, four of Britten’s operas will be performed by ENO in 2018 alone, including The Turn of the Screw and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Acis and Galatea will be performed at Lilian Baylis house, our historic rehearsal studios…

Lilian Baylis House has been many things since it was built in 1884, including a town hall and home of an engineering company. In 1937, however, it welcomed its first batch of famous faces as it became British record label company, Decca’s main recording studios. During this time, famous artists such as David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac recorded music in the studios. Even Paul Bunyan composer, Benjamin Britten used the studios during this time. In the 1980s ENO bought and renamed the studios and thus, Lilian Baylis House (named after the founder of ENO), became our rehearsal studios.

Acis and Galatea will be at Lilian Baylis House for six performances from 9 June.

Benjamin Britten recording The Little Sweep at Lilian Baylis House in 1955. Credit Decca.

Paul Bunyan will be performed at Wilton’s Music Hall in London's East End…

For the first time in history,  ENO will peform at the world’s oldest grand music hall, Wilton’s. The historic music hall began as five separate houses, built in the 1690s, before being combined by John Wilton in the 1860s, although full-length plays were being put on at the venue as early as 1843. Over the next 100 years, the building was barely used and, in its derelict state, was almost demolished. Luckily money was raised and Wilton’s began a refurbishment (while a number of shows were put on at the venue). In 2015 Wilton’s was finally deemed structurally sound and has been in full use as an arts venue since.

Paul Bunyan will be at Wilton’s Music Hall for six performances from 3 September.


Find out more and book tickets for the ENO Studio Live productions below.