On Thursday 19 April, one of the hottest days of 2018 so far, English National Opera celebrated women in opera with a specially curated concert and dinner in the historic Gibson Hall, hosted by Classic FM presenters Anne-Marie Minhall and Margherita Taylor.
Guests were greeted for a reception amongst iconic pieces of set, costume and props from past ENO productions. The concert, under the baton of ENO Head of Music Martin Fitzpatrick, and with the ENO Orchestra and ladies of the ENO Chorus, showcased some of the leading ladies of opera. Emma Bell, Susan Bullock CBE, Lesley Garrett CBE, Janis Kelly and Sarah Tynan, along with ENO Harewood Artist Elgan Llyr Thomas, delighted with operetta and opera alike.
The focus of the evening was to celebrate Lilian Baylis, ENO founder and iconic theatre manager. Her vision of “opera for all” continues to inspire ENO Baylis, the organisation’s learning and participation programme, which offers a range of opportunities for people of all ages to engage with opera.
Guests included Gala Ambassadors Cherie Blair CBE QC, Harriet Harman QC and Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP as well as Holly Willoughby, Anna Friel and Nicole Appleton.
Newly-appointed CEO Stuart Murphy and Artistic Director Daniel Kramer were also in attendance, ahead of the announcement of the 2018/19 season which will feature five new productions including a world premiere, four revivals and two collaborations. The upcoming season will deliver a range of unforgettable opera, sung in English at London’s largest theatre, the London Coliseum and will be announced on 1 May 2018.