Jenny Mollica appointed as English National Opera’s Director of Baylis

7th February 2020 in Press

7 February 2020: English National Opera (ENO) has appointed Jenny Mollica as Director of Baylis, ENO’s learning and participation department.

ENO Baylis offers a range of opportunities for people of all ages to engage with opera. It focuses in particular on young people aged 11-18, and in the last four years has exposed more than 20,000 young people to opera either through Opera Squad residencies, or through Baylis in the Balcony, which provides free tickets to schools for dress rehearsals. In addition to working with schools in London, this year the programme has extended to schools in Luton and Liverpool. All of the schools ENO Baylis works with have pupil populations with above average percentage BAME, SEN and free school meals.

Jenny joins from the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she is currently Director of Creative Learning. She is responsible for leading the award-winning Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning department, which every year supports more than 22,000 people of all ages and backgrounds to discover creative skills for life through pioneering learning programmes across visual arts, theatre, dance, film, music and literature.

Since joining Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning in 2008, Jenny has been responsible for the design, development and production of a number of innovative creative learning programmes across a wide range of art forms and contexts. Highlights include the flagship schools programme, Barbican Box, which works in partnership with schools, cultural education services and arts centres in London, nationally and internationally; launching the London training centre for the world’s first disabled-led youth orchestra, the National Open Youth Orchestra, in partnership with Open Up Music; and setting up the  Associate Schools programme, for which the department received a National Creative Learning Achievement Award for its work with The Garden School, a school for learners with autism.

Jenny trained at postgraduate level as both an artist and educator. She has a Masters (Distinction) in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University and the Russian Institute of Theatre Art (GITIS), a PGCE from the University of Greenwich and an MA (Hons) from the University of St Andrews.

Jenny Mollica said: “I am thrilled to be joining ENO to lead the brilliant Baylis programme at this progressive and much loved company.  It has been a great privilege to lead the work of Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning over the past few years alongside so many inspirational colleagues. I am now looking forward to working with ENO’s world-class team at this exciting time to reimagine the future significance of Baylis for a new decade and beyond.”

Stuart Murphy said: “I am absolutely delighted that Jenny is joining ENO. Baylis is the core of ENO and is integral to everything we do – making opera accessible to all, inspiring people across the country and engaging with children and young adults in an exciting and dynamic way. Jenny has a brilliant vision for where she would like to take Baylis and we are all looking forward to working with her. I would also like to thank Lucy Anderson and the entire Baylis team for holding the fort during this recruitment.”

Jenny will join ENO in the summer.

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 the 2018/19 season were first-time bookers and this season more than 10% of our bookings have been by under 30’s. Our learning and participation programme ENO Baylis has reached more than 20,000 school children and community groups, and we have brought opera into schools, allowing more than 5000 schoolchildren from schools with a higher than average black or minority ethnic (BAME) background representation to experience opera. Our talent development programme continues to nurture the careers of singers (the ENO Harewood Artist programme) and of conductors (the Charles Mackerras Fellowship). We also give free tickets to Under 18s in our balcony for opening nights, Friday and Saturday performances.

Last season, the proportion of our audience with a BAME background increased from 4% to 10%. In January of last 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. This year, we announced that we will also be recruiting five new BAME string players to continue working towards our aim of making the opera industry more accessible and representative of the society in which we live.

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.