8 October 2019: English National Opera has appointed Annilese Miskimmon as Artistic Director.
She joins from Den Norske Opera and Ballet/Norwegian National Opera & Ballet where she has been Director of Opera since August 2017.
Prior to this, she was General Manager/Artistic Director of Den Jyske Opera/Danish National Opera since 2012 and from 2004 to 2012 was the Artistic Director of Opera Theatre Company Ireland. She is from Bangor, Northern Ireland and studied English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge and Arts Management at City University, London.She has worked extensively as a director in many prestigious international opera houses.
Annilese Miskimmon said: “I am honoured and delighted to be joining ENO, a company whose consistently ambitious and thrilling work I have loved for all my opera-going life. I can’t wait to join the world-class artistic, music and technical teams at ENO. It has been a great privilege and pleasure to lead Norway’s national opera company over these past 3 years and an equal joy to now join ENO.”
Stuart Murphy, CEO, ENO said: “We are absolutely delighted to appoint Annilese as ENO’s new Artistic Director.
“Annilese understands ENO’s significance as the artistically adventurous, creatively daring national opera house for everyone. Her values of excellence, kindness and impact chime absolutely with ours and she is as committed to broadening out opera as we all are. Annilese has innate artistic flair and a deep knowledge of opera, so her vivid vision for ENO will be welcomed here with open arms.”
Harry Brunjes, Chair, ENO said: “It has been a diligent, long and thorough process to appoint a new Artistic Director with every member of the ENO Board playing their part. We were really impressed by Annilese who brings with her significant experience of working as a director and developing an artistic programme. Her creative ideas and knowledge of the opera and arts landscape will be invaluable. We look forward to welcoming her to ENO.”
Martyn Brabbins, Music Director, ENO said: “I look forward very much to working alongside Annilese in planning future seasons at ENO. Her integrity as a colleague and artistic tastes and experiences will be the ideal match for today’s ENO.”
Annilese Miskimmon will remain as Oslo’s Director of Opera until the end of the 19/20 season, officially starting with ENO on 1 September. She will have input on ENO’s future seasons from 1 January without compromising her existing commitments in Oslo which will remain her priority. She will move full-time from Oslo to London for the 20/21 season.
Notes to Editors:
English National Opera is the national opera company dedicated to one simple aim: making opera for everyone. We sing in English to be as accessible to the widest possible audience, as well as offering tickets for as little as ten pounds and we create opera that feels different, more theatrical and creatively daring. We’ve been doing this to an internationally recognised standard since being founded in 1931 as Sadler’s Wells Opera.
We are determined to open up the genre: nearly half of our audiences in 2018/19 were first-time bookers. Our learning and participation programme ENO Baylis last year touched the lives of more than 15,000 school children and community groups, and our talent development programme nurtures the careers of singers (the ENO Harewood Artist programme) and conductors (the Charles Mackerras Fellowship). We also give free tickets to Under 18s in our balcony for opening nights, Friday and Saturday performances.
Last year, the percentage of audience members under 44 increased by 13% year-on-year and the proportion of our audience with a black or minority ethnic background increased from 4% to 10%. In January of this year, we announced that we would be recruiting four new members of our Chorus from a BAME background, as well as four BAME Director Observerships.
In the 2018/19 season, audience attendance increased 11 percent year on year.
Our ongoing support and development of British talent meant 80% of the cast in the 2017-18 season were British or British trained. That’s important to us and is fundamental to our ethos of giving new talent their break.
ENO is about opera for everyone.