ENO celebrates 50 years at the London Coliseum with Opera For All, a gala performance featuring many of ENO’s most-loved singers

14th September 2018 in News

ENO celebrates 50 years at the London Coliseum with Opera For All, a gala performance featuring many of ENO’s most-loved singers

On the 10 October ENO will present a very special evening of performances celebrating the last 50 years of opera in residence at the London Coliseum. In 1968 English National Opera, then called Sadler’s Wells Opera, moved into the London Coliseum, performing John Gielgud’s production of Don Giovanni on 21 August of that year. The theatre has been home to ENO ever since.

The performance will feature moments from operas that have played an important part in ENO’s history, including Britten’s Peter Grimes, Handel’s Alcina, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe Verdi’s Rigoletto and Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Artists appearing on the night include baritones Alan Opie and Andrew Shore, tenors Nicky Spence and Gwyn Hughes Jones, mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly and sopranos Natalya Romaniw, Sarah Tynan and Claire Rutter, as well as ENO Harewood Artists and the award-winning ENO Chorus and Orchestra.

Michael Ball, star of ENO’s 2018 Chess will make an appearance, celebrating the tradition of the company presenting musicals at the venue dating back to 1970’s Kiss Me, Kate. HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of English National Opera, will attend.

The iconic Frank Matcham-designed theatre, the largest in the West End, has played host to variety theatre, music hall and a cinema, with an original intention that it be pro bono publico (for the public good), a purpose that remains central to ENO’s work today. The evening will raise income for future ENO learning and talent development work.

To mark the anniversary ENO has also put together a series of interviews with all kinds of figures from its past and present with their memories of the Coliseum. These videos can be viewed at https://www.eno.org/discover-opera/50yearsofopera/ .

Wednesday 10 October, 7pm

Tickets from £15-125*

*plus booking fee


Notes to Editors

English National Opera is founded on the belief that opera of the highest quality should be accessible to everyone. We are a national company of international standard. We forge ground-breaking collaborations across art forms, and our world-class productions inspire, surprise, and captivate. We sing in English. We believe that singing in our own language connects the performers and the audience to the drama onstage, and enhances the experience for all. We bring our productions to the widest possible audience, whether at the London Coliseum, nationally or internationally. We make our work accessible by offering a large proportion of tickets at affordable prices, and by distributing it widely on screen and via digital media. We nurture talent across the entire company, whether on-stage, backstage, or in the pit. We provide a platform for young singers to develop global careers.

We tell the world’s most timeless stories, unforgettably.

Talent Development

The ENO Harewood Artist Programme enables exceptionally talented UK-trained singers to perform with a major opera company while receiving specialist coaching, support and guidance.

Across the 18/19 season more than 15 principal roles will be performed by ENO Harewood Artists.

ENO will support 13 Harewood Artists during the 2018/19 season. These are:

Nadine Benjamin (Soprano)
Katie Coventry (Mezzo-Soprano)
Matthew Durkan (Baritone)
David Ireland (Bass-Baritone)
Soraya Mafi (Soprano)
William Morgan (Tenor)
Alex Otterburn (Baritone)
Rowan Pierce (Soprano)
Samantha Price (Mezzo-Soprano)
Božidar Smiljanic (Bass-Baritone)
Katie Stevenson (Mezzo-Soprano)
Elgan LLŷr Thomas (Tenor)
David Webb (Tenor)

ENO Baylis

ENO Baylis is our learning and participation programme and an integral part of our artistic mission to make opera accessible to all. We provide opportunities for people of all ages to engage with opera, with a particular focus on young people aged 11-18 and on those who might not typically access the arts or consider opera to be for them.

Throughout 2018/19 ENO Baylis remains committed to delivering its world-class arts education programmes to some of the most deserving schools and communities in the capital. Highlights include:

Schools Programme – We invest in four new school relationships each year through our Opera Squad residencies, working closely with selected secondary schools in economically deprived areas of London to deliver a year-round in school programme that responds to specific needs identified by each school.

Youth Programme – We nurture creativity in young people aged 13-18 who are interested in developing their music, drama, writing, design and making skills, and who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in arts activities outside of school.

Adult programme – We offer lifelong learning opportunities and support social inclusion by bringing people from all walks of life together to take part in creative activity through our Community Choir, collaborations with Streetwise Opera and other special projects. This includes our work with marginalised communities that don’t typically access the arts, using singing and song writing to support English language learning and helping people feel comfortable coming into central London to experience performances.