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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 tickets for £20 or less at 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&Ts.

We also offer Secret Seats giving you a seat worth £30 or more for just £20, 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 choice of operas coming up in our 2017/18 Season that are perfect for trying out opera. We’ve picked out Aida and The Barber of Seville from our Autumn Season as our top two suggestions.


ENO 2017/18 Season - Verdi's Aida

Aida is an opera in four acts by Verdi.

Aida is an opera in four acts by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. It was first performed in 1871. It is a very popular opera, performed frequently at opera houses around the world. We will have 16 performances of Aida at London Coliseum from 28 September – 2 December.

What is it about?

Set in Ancient Egypt, Aida is a timeless story of love and betrayal against the backdrop of war. Aida is an Ethiopian princess held captive in Egypt, in love with a General, Radames, and he with her. When he is chosen to lead a war with Ethiopia, we follow the conflict of Aida’s love for both Radames and for her country.

Why should I see Aida at ENO?

Come to see Aida if you want to see opera on a grand scale! The story is a roller coaster of emotions and told through Verdi’s powerful music performed by the award-winning ENO orchestra and chorus, ensuring that you will have an unforgettable experience. This production of Aida is directed by Olivier Award-winning director, Phelim McDermott.

Find out more about Aida.

Watch the director of Aida, Phelim McDermott, introduce his production of Verdi’s timeless story.

The Barber of Seville

ENO 2017/18 Season - Rossini's The Barber of Seville

The Barber of Seville is a comic masterpiece for an evening of frivolous fun!

The Barber of Seville is an opera in four acts by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. It was first performed in 1816 and has become one of the greatest masterpieces of comic music. It is based on a play called Le Barbier de Séville by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais, the first of three plays about a character called Figaro. His second play, Le Mariage de Figaro, was the basis for another opera – The Marriage of Figaro by Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, therefore, is considered a prequel to the story of Mozart’s opera, although it was composed 30 years later. We will have 9 performances of The Barber of Seville at London Coliseum from 5-30 October.

What is it about?

The Barber of Seville is a classic comic opera, following the escapades of Figaro as he assists Count Almaviva in prising the beautiful Rosina away from her lecherous guardian, Dr Bartolo.

Why should I see The Barber of Seville at ENO?

You will love Barber at ENO if you want a fun night out filled with music you’ve definitely heard before. Created in 1987 by director Jonathan Miller, this is the fourteenth time that this production of The Barber of Seville has been on the stage at London Coliseum. Last on stage in 2015, this is an iconic production loved by our audiences for thirty years.

Find out more about The Barber of Seville.

Watch the trailer for The Barber of Seville.

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 #ENO1718, #ENOAida or #ENOBarber.

*plus booking fees of £1.50 per ticket up to a maximum of £6 per transaction.