ENO's next stage in nurturing BAME talent

14th January 2020 in News

ENO is pleased to announce the next stage in our plan to make the opera industry more accessible.

ENO is to recruit 5 new string players from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background in a positive effort to ensure our Orchestra more fairly reflects our society, and to create specific opportunities for those who are currently under represented both in London and nationally. Those who are selected for the ENO Orchestra Fellowship for BAME String Players will join the ENO Orchestra from the start of the 2020/21 season on a fixed term contract for 12 months.

This marks the second phase in ENO’s plan to achieve greater diversity within the opera industry and classical music. In January of last year we announced the first phase – that we were to recruit four new Chorus Fellows from a BAME background in a concerted effort to ensure our Chorus more fairly reflects our society. Isabelle Peters, Julia Daramy-Williams, Satriya Krisna and James Liu joined ENO in August and have already been featured on stage as part of ENO’s 19/20 Season.

Additionally, ENO launched four annual ENO Director Observerships, offering emerging BAME directors the opportunity to work alongside world-renowned opera directors, observing the entire process of directing an opera from start to finish. Paid participants will also be given an insight into the day to day workings of a large national company, from stage management and company office to technical and production. Abdul Shayek, Femi Fagunwa, Ashen Gupta and Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster are observing Orpheus in the UnderworldRusalkaCarmen and The Marriage of Figaro respectively. This scheme will continue in to the 2020/21 season.

From the start of the 2018 Season, ENO put into place, for the first time ever, screened auditions for the orchestra, as part of its recruitment process. This has also extended to auditions for the chorus.

Our music director, Martyn Brabbins, said:

“Here at ENO we are committed to contributing to the development of a more diverse classical music industry. We strongly believe by introducing the ENO Orchestra Fellowship for BAME String Players we will make an important and much needed difference to the opera industry, and further our belief that opera should be open to everybody.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Read more about the ENO Orchestra Fellowship for BAME String Players.