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Ready to try opera?

8th May 2017 in Features News

Thinking of trying opera? Opera at ENO is an unmissable experience for everyone.

Opera can appear closed off to the uninitiated, but at ENO we open up opera to everyone. Beyond the technical language, opera does nothing more than tell the timeless stories of human emotions on a grand scale. Opera stories are packed with love, joy, sadness, betrayal, and grief, that everyone can enjoy. You will be swept away by the music, the drama of the story, the powerful singing and acting, and the pioneering stage design at one of London’s most iconic theatres – the London Coliseum – home of ENO since 1968.

Can I afford it?

At ENO, we believe opera of the highest quality should be accessible to everyone. That’s why there are 500 seats available at £20 or less for every ENO performance. Additionally, tickets start from £12* in the balcony and for that you get an evening with our award winning orchestra and chorus; world-class singers; directors, producers and designers from across the arts, including stage, TV, and the movies.

Our Opera Undressed nights are a great way to try out opera for the first time: for just £20 you get a great seat, a pre-performance talk, and an after-show party with a complimentary G&T.

We also offer Secret Seats giving you a seat worth £50 or more for just £30, and our Access All Arias scheme for students and under 30s offers great savings on seats all over the theatre.

What should I see?

We have a wide choice of operas coming up in our 2018/19 Season that are perfect for trying out opera. We’ve picked out Porgy and Bess and La bohème from our Autumn Season as our top two suggestions.

Porgy and Bess

ENO 2018/19 Season Artwork: Porgy & Bess

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is being staged for the first time by ENO, more than 80 years after its premiere. Musical theatre lovers rejoice – Porgy and Bess is filled with recognisable songs inspired by Jazz, ragtime and Blues. We will have 14 performances of the production at the London Coliseum from 11 October – 17 November.

What is it about?

Set in South Carolina in the 1920s, Porgy and Bess explores the relationships of a close-knit community, especially the tumultuous relationship between Bess, the caring Porgy, and the abusive Crown. When Bess finally frees herself from Crowns destructive grip, she seeks comfort in Porgy, who longs to draw her away from her past. Porgy and Bess’s relationship, however, is tested when Crown returns and Bess has to decide which path to chose.

Why should I see Porgy and Bess at ENO?

Come to see Porgy and Bess if you want to see an opera filled with unforgettable melodies, including the well-known ‘Summertime’. As well as the opera making its ENO debut, a 40-strong chorus have been formed just for this production, and conductor John Wilson and director James Robinson work with ENO for the first time.

Find out more about Porgy and Bess.

Watch this introduction to The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess with cast and crew from James Robinson’s production.

La bohème

ENO 2018/19 Season La bohème Artwork

La bohème is one of operas most-loved and unforgettable stories. First performed in 1896, Puccini’s moving opera has withstood the test of time, and returns to the London Coliseum to mark director Jonathan Miller’s 40th anniversary working with ENO. You can see La bohème at the London Coliseum from 26 November – 22 February.

What is it about?

Set in nineteenth century Paris, La bohème is a classic opera love story, following the love-at-first-sight relationship of Mimì and bohemian Rodolfo, from their joyful beginnings to ultimate heartbreak.

Why should I see La bohème at ENO?

Jonathan Miller’s classic staging of La bohème, set in 1920s Paris, returns to the Coliseum for the first time in 5 years. Come and see this ultimate romantic tragedy if you want to be moved to tears!


Find out more about La bohème.

Watch the trailer for Jonathan Miller’s production of Puccini’s La bohème.

Will I understand what’s going on?

At ENO, we sing in English, and the lyrics are also on a screen above the stage for you to follow along. You can also read up on the plots in our Discover Opera section beforehand, if you want. Although opera can seem daunting, many of the stories will be familiar to you, focusing on common human emotions.

What should I wear?

The great thing about coming to opera at ENO is that there isn’t a strict dress code! Some people, particularly in the stalls, might dress smartly, and you are welcome to dress up, but you are also free to wear jeans and trainers if you wish.

Let us know what you think!

Join in the conversation about opera on Twitter. You can follow us @E_N_O or use the hashtags #ENO1819, #ENOPorgy or #ENOBoheme.

*plus booking fee of £2.25 per ticket.