English National Opera announces 2017/18 Season

27th April 2017 in News

Today (27 April 2017) ENO has announced its 2017/18 season, comprising four new productions and five revivals at the London Coliseum alongside performances at other venues during the summer. In the 2017/18 season ENO will present nine fully-staged productions at the London Coliseum (following eight in the 2016/17 season). This will increase to 10 fully-staged productions at the London Coliseum by 2019/20.

For the full 2017/18 listings and more information about performances, please see the 2017/18 Season at a glance page. Join the conversation on social media with #ENO1718.

New productions at the London Coliseum

The 2017/18 season opens with a bold and innovative new production of Aida, Verdi’s timeless story of duty, love and betrayal, directed by Phelim McDermott. Aida follows sell-out performances of McDermott’s Olivier Award-winning production of Akhnaten in 2016.

Aida will be conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson, who made her successful ENO debut with The Girl of the Golden West in 2013. Sharing the title role are two sopranos closely identified with Aida, both of whom are making their ENO debuts: Latonia Moore and Morenike Fadayomi. As Radamès, we welcome back popular ENO artist Gwyn Hughes Jones. Mezzo-sopranos Michelle DeYoung and Dana Beth Miller share the role of Amneris, while Musa Ngqungwana makes his UK operatic debut as the defeated Ethiopian ruler Amonasro. Brindley Sherratt will sing Ramfis alongside Matthew Best as the King.

Marnie is composer Nico Muhly’s second world premiere for ENO, following 2011’s Two Boys. Conducted by Martyn Brabbins in his first production as ENO Music Director, Marnie is based on novelist Winston Graham’s gripping psychological thriller. This world premiere will be directed by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (who has previously directed Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera, New York) in his UK operatic debut.

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke creates the title role, while acclaimed Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch makes his company debut as Mark Rutland. The cast also includes long-standing ENO favourite Lesley Garrett, whose 2016 performances in the world premiere of Mark Simpson’s opera Pleasure with Opera North were critically acclaimed.

Following the huge success of Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance, this new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy political satire will further bolster ENO’s reputation as the premier home for the works of this great comic pairing.

An experienced interpreter of Gilbert and Sullivan’s work, Timothy Henty conducts a cast of ENO favourites including Andrew Shore, Yvonne Howard and ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price.

Award-winning director Cal McCrystal makes his ENO debut with this production, embracing the chaotic physical comedy and irreverence that are his hallmarks. Known for his creation of the vigorous slapstick sequences in the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, he is well-known both on stage and in Hollywood as a master of comedy. His wide range of work includes both a long-term directing partnership with The Mighty Boosh and clown work for Cirque Du Soleil.

La traviata
The final new London Coliseum production of the 2017/18 season is a sweepingly romantic interpretation of La traviata from ENO’s Artistic Director Daniel Kramer. This is his first since taking up the position in August 2016.

Irish soprano Claudia Boyle will sing the role of the ‘fallen woman’ Violetta. She is joined by rising tenor and 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World finalist Lukhanyo Moyake making his UK debut as Alfredo. Olivier Award-nominated baritone Alan Opie, in his second engagement of the season, sings Germont. British conductor Leo McFall will make his house debut with this production, which has been conceived by Daniel Kramer particularly to showcase ENO’s award-winning Chorus.

Revivals at the London Coliseum

ENO will produce five revivals of audience favourites during the 2017/18 season.

Jonathan Miller’s riotously funny production of The Barber of Seville returns, thirty years after it first premiered at the London Coliseum. Morgan Pearse and Eleazar Rodriguez return to the roles of Figaro and the Count, following their performances in the production in 2015. Sarah Tynan, last seen performing with ENO in the title role of Partenope, makes her role debut as Rosina while Alan Opie sings Dr Bartolo. British conductor Hilary Griffiths makes his ENO debut following a distinguished career on the continent.

For decades ENO has enjoyed a very special relationship with the music of both Handel and Britten. The 17/18 season welcomes revivals of both Richard Jones’s Olivier Award-winning Rodelinda and Robert Carsen’s magical A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans returns to the title role of Handel’s Rodelinda for its first revival, with countertenor Tim Mead as her husband, Bertarido. Susan Bickley will reprise the role of Eduige. Christian Curnyn, most recently seen with ENO conducting 2017’s five-star Partenope, returns to the pit.

First seen in 1995, the beautiful dreamscapes of Robert Carsen’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream have since delighted audiences around the world. An important showcase of the vocal talent nurtured by ENO, the exceptional cast features five ENO Harewood Artists. Soraya Mafi makes her role debut as Tytania, returning after her performances as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. Led by conductor Alexander Soddy, the cast also features David Webb and Matthew Durkan as Demetrius and Lysander, Clare Presland and Eleanor Dennis as Hermia and Helena, and countertenor Christopher Ainslie as Oberon.

Phelim McDermott returns for his second show of the season to direct the third revival of his iconic production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha. British tenor Toby Spence takes on the role of the Indian independence leader, M.K. Gandhi, for the first time. Contemporary music champion and former Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover Karen Kamensek, who conducted 2016’s Akhnaten to great critical acclaim, returns to the pit for her first performance of this piece.

Martyn Brabbins will conduct the final London Coliseum production of the 2017/18 season, with Fiona Shaw returning to direct the second revival of her production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. ENO Harewood Artist Rhian Lois will sing the role of the cunning maidservant Susanna, alongside Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans making his ENO debut as Figaro. Baritone Ashley Riches will play the Count opposite Lucy Crowe making her role debut as his beleaguered Countess. ENO Harewood Artist Katie Coventry makes her role debut as Cherubino.

ENO Outside

During the summer months ENO will stage a variety of productions at other venues around London. This work outside our home, the London Coliseum, gives us the opportunity to:

  • Develop artists – including singers, composers, librettists, directors and conductors
  • Present opera in fresh and interesting ways to different audiences
  • Work in partnership with venues which would not normally produce opera, bringing our work to new and wider audiences

While we will be announcing more of our outside work in the autumn, we are pleased to share the following partnerships and projects.

In June 2018 Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and ENO will collaborate on a new production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. This story of unearthly encounters at a remote country house will be directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader and conducted by ENO Mackerras Fellow Toby Purser. As Artistic Director of the Open Air Theatre, Sheader has introduced the works of Chekhov, Miller, Wilde and Dickens to the venue. His skill at rediscovering musicals has seen sell-out productions of Porgy and Bess and Jesus Christ Superstar (Best Musical, Evening Standard Awards), with Crazy for You and Into the Woods transferring to the West End and New York respectively.

Following its launch in the summer of 2017, ENO Studio Live will return in the 2017/18 season. ENO Studio Live shares the power of our forces with audiences in more intimate venues, and presents opportunities to develop the talent of our exceptional emerging artists and in-house teams.

We are developing a collaboration with the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill to be staged there in 2018. Further details on the project will be announced in May.

An exciting new partnership with Grange Park Opera will begin in June 2018. ENO’s award-winning Orchestra will play for a number of productions presented by Grange Park Opera at their new home, West Horsley Place.

We have formed a new partnership with the Unicorn Theatre to create work aimed at teenage audiences. The first production is scheduled for 2019.

It is vital that we continue to ensure that price is never a barrier for people wanting to enjoy an opera at ENO. 500 tickets for £20 or less are available for every ENO performance at the London Coliseum. That’s 39,500 tickets across the 79 London Coliseum performances in the 2017/18 season (or around 23% of tickets to every show). In addition, we have reduced the price of over 50% of seats in the Dress Circle.

Booking for operas at the London Coliseum opens for: