(Thursday 14 April 2022)
The English National Opera (ENO) announces our 2022/23 Main Stage Season.
- The ENO’s 2022/23 Season features nine main stage productions at the London Coliseum: seven new productions and two revivals.
- This varied programme of opera encompasses a range of bold and relevant stories, both new and well-known.
- Offering new productions of rarely staged pieces, as well as broad-reaching work, we are creating a spectrum of operatic experiences for every member of our wide and diverse audience.
- Christof Loy’s production of Puccini’s Tosca makes its UK debut at the ENO, with Sinéad Campbell-Wallace in the title role, conducted by Leo Hussain.
- Jo Davies directs the first production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard in the company’s history.
- Jake Heggie’s opera of classic film It’s a Wonderful Life receives its UK premiere, conducted by Nicole Paiement, with Danielle de Niese making her ENO operatic debut.
- Richard Jones’s Ring Cycle continues, with the first in Wagner’s epic saga, The Rhinegold, conducted by the ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins.
- The ENO’s Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon directs her second production for the company, Korngold’s The Dead City (Die tote Stadt), starring Allison Oakes and Rolf Romei in their company debuts.
- Jeanine Tesori’s contemporary opera about police violence against African American communities, Blue, receives its UK premiere. Conducted by former ENO Mackerras Fellow Mathew Kofi Waldren, Tinuke Craig makes her operatic directorial debut.
- A new production of Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs is staged, directed and designed by Isabella Bywater and conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya.
- Revivals are Phelim McDermott’s acclaimed Akhnaten, conducted by Karen Kemensek and with Anthony Roth Costanzo returning to the eponymous role, and Calixto Bieito’s Carmen, conducted by Kerem Hasan. Ginger Costa-Jackson makes her ENO debut as titular Carmen, with Sean Panikkar reprising the role of Don Jose.
- The opera season in the Coliseum stars some of the opera world’s finest British and international talent.
- Three new ENO Harewood Artists are announced, each taking main stage roles in the upcoming season: Ossian Huskinson (bass-baritone), Zwakele Tshabalala (tenor) and Innocent Masuku (tenor).
- The ENO’s work on the London Coliseum stage is just one element of the work we do nationally, all year round. Further plans for the year will follow.
- Two new opportunities are created for singers who are disabled to join our award-winning Chorus, and a commitment is made to hire more individuals who are Deaf or disabled for Front of House roles to better reflect the London population.
- The ENO’s successful free ticket offer for under 21s, for all ENO operas at every level of the house, continues, as do substantial discounts for under 35s.
- Ticket prices for everyone still begin at £10, and their availability is increased.
- The ENO’s relaxed performance programme on the main stage with full Chorus and Orchestra, will be extended to 3 productions this season: The Yeomen of the Guard, It’s a Wonderful Life and Akhnaten.
- The ENO is working with disability-led charity Attitude Is Everything on a range of initiatives including disability equality training and work placements to support aspiring professionals who are Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent and/or have a physical or mental health condition.
- Beginning in August, ENO Engage, our learning and participation department, will launch a new Creative Residency programme, inviting artists from disciplines outside opera to bring diverse perspectives to the artform.
- The ENO announces the national rollout of ‘Finish This…’. The creative music making programme for primary, secondary, and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) school learners moves from 14 pilot schools to becoming available to schools across the country.
- The ENO will also release a one-off 45 minute family comedy-musical-drama ‘Abracadopera’, designed to introduce young viewers to opera. It will be available to watch on Sky Kids, Sky Arts and streaming service NOW in June 2022.
- This summer, ENO Engage will partner with Sky Arts on their Access All Arts Programme, a nationwide arts week for primary schools from 6-10 June.
- ENO Engage will be launching a new membership scheme for secondary schools across the country, including access to free and discounted tickets, events, teacher training online and in-school workshops.
CEO of the ENO, Stuart Murphy says: ‘The value of the ENO goes way beyond our pioneering artistic work. The ENO’s transformation in the past few years means that now over 50% of all ENO attendees are first time bookers. Our radical access schemes, proactive diversity recruitment, industry training and award-winning national engagement work – such as ENO Breathe – means the ENO is now truly the gateway opera company for the country, and therefore a fundamental part of the national arts ecology.’
Artistic Director of the ENO, Annilese Miskimmon says: ‘We are so pleased to present this unique and bold season of artistic plans and announcements, stretching from our home at the London Coliseum and across the country via our new engagement projects with national reach. As a truly 21st century opera company, it’s our mission to offer a combination of both beautiful escapism, and forward-thinking, ambitious work. We have designed this season to deliver just that – fresh, relevant stories which entertain, astound, and make you think.’
Music Director of the ENO, Martyn Brabbins says: ‘This is an ENO season to celebrate and to look forward to. Music and drama unite to bring our audience a heady mix of new discoveries and familiar operatic masterpieces which we continue to look at afresh. The ENO Orchestra and Chorus, on sparkling form, will embrace and inhabit this wide and stimulating array of repertoire, delivering performances that move and inspire.’
Director of Strategy and Engagement, Jenny Mollica says: ‘As the national opera company for everyone, we are thrilled to be launching a number of new partnerships and programmes across this next season that continue to widen opportunities for people and communities across the country to develop their creative skills and potential. From partnerships with the NHS, schools, and broadcast partners, we continue to grow our work at both a regional and national level to create new possibilities for opera in people’s lives.’
New productions at the London Coliseum
Opening the 22/23 Season is a new production of Tosca, previously seen at Finnish National Opera in 2018, and now receiving its UK premiere.
A stylishly traditional take on Giacomo Puccini’s classic, this is a tale of danger, passion and murder. Opera star Floria Tosca lives only for art and love, yet when the brutal plans of the cruel Scarpia come between her and her beloved Mario Cavaradossi, she finds herself in a nightmare.
A ‘stunning thriller’ (Helsingin Sanomat), this is the first work by director Christof Loy to be staged by the ENO. Loy has received great acclaim for work at many of the UK’s other leading opera houses, including his ‘riveting’ (i News) Luisa Miller for Glyndebourne in 2021.
On the podium is ‘commanding conductor’ (the Daily Telegraph) Leo Hussain, making a much-anticipated return to the ENO following 2011’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Former Music Director of Opéra de Rouen and Salzburg Landestheater, Hussain is one of Britain’s most exciting conductors.
The cast is led by Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, fresh from an ‘excellent ENO debut’ (Daily Express) as Mimì in 2022’s La bohème. Making his ENO debut as Cavaradossi is Italianate tenor Adam Smith. In another ENO debut, ‘rising star’ (Opera Today) Noel Bouley is Scarpia. Lucia Lucas is a Sacristan, returning to the ENO following 2019’s role as Public Opinion in Orpheus in the Underworld. Current Lindemann Young Artist at The Metropolitan Opera, Msimelelo Mbali is Cesare Angelotti, with new ENO Harewood Artist Ossian Huskinson singing Sciarrone, the first of two engagements this season. Current ENO Harewood Artist John Findon sings Spoletta.
Sumptuous sets and costumes by Christian Schmidt anachronistically transcend the history of opera, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Lighting is by Olaf Winter.
The Yeomen of the Guard
Next is the company’s first production of The Yeomen of the Guard. Widely recognised as the most musically superior of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works, The Yeomen of the Guard is a mixture of melancholy and mirth. A rarity in the Gilbert & Sullivan cannon, this opera swaps their usual satiric comedy and happy ending, for a darker turn of affairs.
Jo Davies returns to the London Coliseum to direct, following Opera North’s tour of her ‘magnificent’ (the Independent) Kiss Me, Kate. Davies has also received acclaim for her work with Opera North including a ‘terrific’ (the Guardian) Ruddigore in 2010. Conducting the rich score is ENO favourite Chris Hopkins, Principal Conductor of English Sinfonia and Musical Director of Orchestra of the City. In recent seasons, he has become something of a Sullivan specialist for the ENO, conducting 2018’s Iolanthe, 2019’s The Mikado, and 2021’s HMS Pinafore.
A tangle of characters involves themselves in topsy-turvy escapades within the Tower of London. Yeomen, travelling players and prisoners jest and trick each other. Colonel Fairfax is sung by Anthony Gregory, a former ENO Harewood Artist who last performed in the London Coliseum for the BBC Two broadcast of Handel’s Messiah in 2021. Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen is bass-baritone Neal Davies fresh from a ‘gloriously entertaining’ (Culture Whisper) Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. Travelling singer Elsie Maynard is ENO Harewood Artist Alexandra Oomens, her second Gilbert & Sullivan role with the company since debuting with her ‘bright and impressive soprano’ (the Daily Telegraph) as Josephine in HMS Pinafore. Heather Lowe sings Phoebe Meryll, re-joining the ENO orchestra for her London Coliseum debut following 2019’s Hansel and Gretel at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Baritone Steven Page is Sir Richard Cholmondeley and Susan Bickley is Dame Carruthers. New ENO Harewood Artist Innocent Masuku is Leonard Meryll, and former ENO Chorus Fellow Isabelle Peters returns to the company in her debut principal role as Kate.
Life in the Tower is painted with sets and costumes by Olivier Award-winning designer Anthony Ward. Lighting is by Oliver Fenwick and video design is by Andrezj Goulding. Choreography is by Kay Shepherd.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Opening the Christmas period at the London Coliseum is the UK premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life, an operatic adaptation of the 1946 film, composed by Jake Heggie in 2016.
A blended tale of fantasy and drama loosely based on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, a humble man of humble origins in a humble small town. Having sacrificed many of his own dreams to help others around him, George is driven to breakdown, only to be shown by his guardian angels how his life enriches his community in ways he could never imagine.
A family friendly opera, perfect for first-time opera goers of all ages, this is an all-singing, all-dancing tale of hope and redemption sprinkled with a smattering of festive magic.
Director and choreographer Aletta Collins makes her ENO directorial debut. A former Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House, Collins’s directing work includes the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline at the Barbican in 2018 and an ‘exemplary’ (the Daily Telegraph) La Fanciulla del West for Opera North in 2014. Also making her ENO debut, in the pit is Nicole Paiement, an experienced Heggie conductor, who holds a well-regarded reputation in conducting contemporary works. The set designer is Giles Cadle with costumes by Gabrielle Dalton.
Bringing this tale to life is a stellar cast. ‘Opera’s coolest soprano’ (The New York Times) Danielle de Niese makes her ENO operatic debut as protagonist George Bailey’s guardian angel Clara. Frederick Ballentine sings George, having previously sung Sportin’ Life in 2018’s Porgy and Bess and Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale. Michael Mayes makes his ENO debut as Henry F Potter, having sung the Heggie role Joseph De Rocher in Dead Man Walking to international acclaim. Jennifer France sings Mary Hatch Bailey, following her ‘gloriously imperious’ turn as the Princess in 2019’s Orphée. Ronald Samm sings Uncle Billy, Gweneth Ann Rand sings Mother Bailey and Helen Bailey is sung by soprano Segomotso Shupinyaneng. Keri Fuge is joined by current ENO Harewood Artists Idunnu Münch, Zwakele Tshabalala, and Ossian Huskinson to make up the quartet of angels.
The first in Wagner’s epic series of operas based on legendary sagas and Norse mythology, this new production of The Rhinegold is the next to take to the London Coliseum stage.
Following 2021’s ‘powerful and original’ (Evening Standard) production of The Valkyrie, this is the next instalment of Richard Jones’s Ring Cycle. From stolen gold, an all-powerful ring is forged, setting in motion an epic saga where humans and gods are pitted against each other, and love and greed tussle.
Reprising their partnership, Jones is joined by costume and set designer Stewart Laing, movement director Sarah Fahie, video designer Akhila Krishnan, and lighting designer Adam Silverman. ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins rejoins Jones as the conductor of the award-winning ENO Orchestra.
With outstanding stage presence, bass-baritone John Relyea is Wotan, mighty father of the gods, bringing his ‘powerfully affecting’ voice to his ENO debut. Leigh Melrose, ‘one of the great character singers of his voice type’ (Opera Today) makes a welcome return to the stage where he made his professional debut, singing Alberich, a role he has performed internationally. Frederick Ballentine sings Loge in his second engagement of the season. Fricka is sung by former ENO Harewood Artist Madeleine Shaw, returning to the ENO following 2022’s roles in The Cunning Little Vixen and The Handmaid’s Tale (Forester’s Wife/Owl and Rita). Jennifer Davis sings Freia, following her role as Helmwige in 2021’s The Valkyrie. One of Britain’s leading mezzo-sopranos, Christine Rice sings Erda and current Harewood Artist John Findon is Mime. The giants, Fafner and Fasolt are sung by James Cresswell and Simon Bailey respectively. Blake Denson, winner of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, makes his ENO debut as Donner and Julian Hubbard is Froh. The cast is completed by current and former ENO Harewood Artists Eleanor Dennis, Idunnu Münch and Katie Stevenson as the Rhinemaidens.
The Dead City (Die tote Stadt)
Directed by the ENO’s Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon, a new production of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s The Dead City (Die tote Stadt) will be performed in Spring 2023.
Premiered in post-war Europe, Korngold’s opera is a psychological exploration of loss. Grieving for his wife Marie, Paul shuts himself away in their home fixated on her memory, until an encounter with her doppelgänger turns the world on its head as he grapples with the blurred boundaries between his memories and newfound desires.
Best known for his Golden Age of Hollywood film scores, Korngold’s orchestration is a theatrically luscious treat. Conducting is Kirill Karabits, a Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Karabits made his ENO debut in 2010 with Rufus Norris’ Don Giovanni where he ‘drew exceptionally fine playing’ (the Guardian) from the ENO Orchestra. The set is by Miriam Beuther.
Starring in these demanding roles are tenor Rolf Romei, and soprano Allison Oakes as Paul and Marie/Marietta. Romei previously performed this role at the Enescu Festival in 2021, and Oakes sung the role with Hamburg State Opera in 2018, when she ‘scale[d] the heights of Korngold’s music with soaring beauty’ (Bachtrack). Both are making their ENO debuts. Dame Sarah Connolly, ‘one of Britain’s finest operatic exports’ (The Times), makes a much-anticipated return to the London Coliseum in the role of Brigitta. Baritone Audun Iverson sings Frank, following his Eugene Onegin in 2011’s ‘superb’ (the Daily Telegraph) production.
A UK debut, Blue is a ‘powerful’ (The New York Times) contemporary opera by US composer Jeanine Tesori. Commissioned in 2015 by the Glimmerglass Festival and premiering in 2019, this piece addresses contemporary issues around race and injustice.
A multi-Tony Award-nominee and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tesori is one of the most honoured female theatrical composers in history, working across Broadway, cinema and opera. The libretto is by Tazewell Thompson, a noted theatre and opera director, librettist and Director of Opera Studies at Manhattan School of Music. Blue won the Music Critics Association of North America Award in 2020 for Best New Opera.
Exploring the effects of police violence on African American families and communities, Blue is a complex story with deep resonance. An activist son clashes with his police officer father in this gripping and tragic story, which places the repercussions of police brutality against unarmed black men at the centre of its narrative.
Directing is ‘fast-rising’ (the Guardian) star of British theatre Tinuke Craig, whose previous successes include a ‘blazing’ (The Stage) production of The Colour Purple at Leicester Curve/Birmingham Hippodrome, Crave at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and work for the Almeida, Gate Theatre and Young Vic. This is her operatic debut. The conductor is Matthew Kofi Waldren, former ENO Mackerras Fellow (2016-2018) and one of the UK’s most collaborative conductors, working regularly with all the country’s major opera companies. Set and costumes are by Alex Lowde.
As the Mother, former ENO Harewood Artist Nadine Benjamin lends her ‘rich, glowing voice’ (the Guardian) to the role, returning to the ENO following 2022’s La bohème. Joining her in his ENO debut is bass-baritone Michael Sumuel as the Father. With a well-established career in the US, UK audiences may remember his ‘luminous tone and theatrical presence’ (San Francisco Chronicle) as Sharpless in Glyndebourne’s 2018 Madam Butterfly. Singing the Son is new ENO Harewood Artist Zwakele Tshabalala in his second engagement with ENO this season after It’s a Wonderful Life. Tshabalala previously sang Hot Biscuit Slim in the ENO Studio Live production of Paul Bunyan at Alexandra Palace in 2019, where he ‘demonstrated a properly huge voice’ (Seen and Heard) and was in the ensemble of 2018’s Porgy and Bess. The Reverend is sung by Ronald Samm, in his second role this season. The cast is completed by Chanae Curtis, April Koyejo-Audiger and Idunnu Münch as the Girlfriends, and Joshua Conyers, Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi, and John-Colyn Gyeantey as the Policemen.
Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
Henryk Górecki’s iconic poetic meditation on motherhood and loss rounds off the main stage season at the London Coliseum. The composer’s most well-known work, it is one of the biggest selling contemporary classical pieces of all time, having sold more than a million copies since its first recording was released in 1992.
A symphony in three mournful and reflective movements, a single soprano voice paints a tryptic of motherhood; first a lament of the Virgin Mary, the second a message written on the wall of a concentration camp, and the final, a mother searching for her lost son. Sitting alongside works in the ENO repertoire like Akhnaten and Satyagraha which are poetically spiritual rather than narrative driven, this work is performed in its original Polish, with English subtitles.
Award-winning director and designer Isabella Bywater directs and designs this piece. Her successes include the ‘wonderful’ (Opera West) La bohème for San Diego Opera and a ‘compelling and gripping performance’ of Lucia di Lammermoor at Danish National Opera. As a designer she is already known to ENO audiences as the designer of two of Jonathan Miller’s most iconic productions, La bohème and The Elixir of Love. A committed advocate for operatic rarities and contemporary works, Music Director at Chicago Opera Theater Lidiya Yankovskaya conducts. This is her ENO debut. The soprano in this piece is ‘superb’ (the Guardian) Nicole Chevalier, making her ENO debut.
Revival productions at the London Coliseum
Returning to the London Coliseum for its third revival since its first staging in 2012 is Calixto Bieito’s fiery Carmen. Set under a scorching sun in the dying days of Franco’s Spain, passion and jealousy consume soldier Don José, obsessed with free spirited factory worker Carmen. Kerem Hasan conducts the ENO Orchestra, following the ‘musical excellence’ (The Stage) he brought to 2021’s Così fan tutte. Current ENO Mackerras Fellow Olivia Clarke conducts one performance.
Metropolitan Opera favourite and Lindemann Young Artist Program graduate Ginger Costa-Jackson sings Carmen, making her ENO debut in the role which is fast becoming her speciality having sung it at San Francisco Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera and The Glimmerglass Festival. Reprising his ‘excellent’ (Daily Express) role of Don Jose following 2020’s revival of this production is tenor Sean Panikkar, fresh from his acclaimed turn as Gandhi in 2021’s Satyagraha. Bullfighter Escamillo is Nmon Ford, returning to the ENO after singing Crown in 2018’s Porgy and Bess, his company debut. One of the leading sopranos of her generation, Sophie Bevan MBE sings Micaëla. Keel Watson reprises his role as Zuniga, with ENO Harewood Artist Benson Wilson as Morales. They are joined by fellow Harewood Artist Alexandra Oomens as Frasquita, and Niamh O’Sullivan making her ENO debut as Mercedes. Baritone Seán Boylan makes his ENO debut as Dancairo, and the cast is completed by new ENO Harewood Artist Innocent Masuku as Remendado.
The original director is Calixto Bieito, with sets by Alfons Flores, costumes by Merce Paloma and lighting by Bruno Poet. The revival director is Jamie Manton.
Fast cementing itself as one of the most iconic English National Opera productions of recent years, Phelim McDermott’s ‘spellbinding’ (The New York Times) Akhnaten returns to the London Coliseum in 2023 for its second revival, following 2019’s sell-out run.
This is one of McDermott’s Glass portrait operas which, alongside Satyagraha, has contributed to the ENO’s reputation as the House of Glass. The aesthetic heat of the staging melds with a hypnotic score, to tell of Ancient Egypt’s seismic formation of a new world order under the rebellious young pharaoh’s rule.
Revived by original Director Phelim McDermott, Glass expert Karen Kemensek returns to conduct the ENO Orchestra, following 2022’s Grammy win for the recording of this opera. Choreographer Sean Gandini leads an impressive troup of juggling skills artists in a set by Tom Pye, costumes by Kevin Pollard and lighting by Bruno Poet.
Reprising his role as Akhnaten is ‘vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless’ (The New York Times) countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo, who is fast making this role his signature, having performed it at English National Opera, The Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera. Nefertiti is sung by Chrystal E. Williams, returning after 2017’s co-production of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Hackney Empire. Soprano Haegee Lee makes her ENO debut as Queen Tye. Current ENO Harewood Artist Benson Wilson sings Horemhab, and Keel Watson returns as Aye. Also reprising his 2018 role is Zachary James as the Scribe. The High Priest of Amon is Paul Curievici in an ENO debut. Akhnaten and Nefertiti’s daughters are sung by a fine line-up of singers, several of which are making their ENO or ENO solo debuts. They are: Ellie Neate, Isabelle Peters, Ella Taylor, Felicity Buckland, Sinéad O’Kelly and Lauren Young.
Accessibility, engagement, and talent development at the ENO
The ENO not only invests in pioneering work on the London Coliseum stage. We perform work outside the theatre in London and invest significantly beyond the artistic.
As part of this ongoing work, we announce the third phase in our strategy aimed at making the opera industry as a whole more accessible and more representative of the society in which we live.
This will be marked by the recruitment of two singers who are disabled to join the award-winning ENO Chorus, in a positive effort to create specific opportunities for those currently under-represented in the arts, both in London and nationally. The two choristers will join us as Chorus Fellows for a full opera season, performing in the Chorus for all ENO operas, and enhancing our full-time Chorus from 44 to 46 members. Applications open from May to the end of July, with auditions taking place in September and October 2022. We are working closely with disability recruitment agencies to ensure the hiring process is inclusive.
The ENO are also pleased to extend our relaxed performance programming with three main stage, unabridged London Coliseum works featuring the full ENO Orchestra and Chorus, for those who may benefit from a more relaxed environment. The performances are: The Yeomen of the Guard, It’s a Wonderful Life and Akhnaten.
This commitment to inclusivity is extended to our ongoing work offstage. The ENO will be proactively recruiting individuals who are currently underrepresented in the sector – initially this will be via a commitment that 14% of all new hires for Front of House roles will be individuals who are Deaf or disabled, to put us in line with the disability representation in the London population.
ENO Engage, our learning and participation department, will be launching a number of activities and partnerships that aim to widen and improve accessibility for children and young people. This includes the rollout of ‘Finish This…’ to SEND schools nationally, a new partnership with Open Up Music to develop a new inclusive Open Orchestra at a secondary special school in Luton this autumn, and partnering with A New Direction on the I Am Festival 2022, a yearly celebration empowering d/Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent young people to explore their creativity.
Finally, to help the ENO achieve its ambitious goal of being the most accessible and inclusive opera company possible, we are delighted to be working with disability-led charity Attitude Is Everything. The ENO is the first opera company to work with Attitude is Everything to embed their Live Events Access Charter (an industry standard designed to improve Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music), alongside working together on a range of initiatives including access consultancy, disability equality training for ENO staff, and the development of new work placements at the ENO to support aspiring professionals who are also Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent and/or have a physical or mental health condition.
Gideon Feldman, Head of Programmes at Attitude is Everything says: ‘We are delighted to be working with the ENO to support their ambitions to become an even more accessible and inclusive organisation for Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people – across their workforce, audiences and artists – as well as providing expertise on a range of access changes to their home, the London Coliseum. We look forward to embarking on an exciting journey of change with the ENO over the 2022/23 Season and beyond.’
The ENO continues to invest a significant amount in work that extends far beyond what is presented on stage; regionally and nationally, all year round.
Launching this summer is a new paid ENO Creative Residency programme, inviting artists from disciplines outside of opera to bring diverse perspectives on the artform. Beginning in August, the ENO will be working with a new artist each year, providing mentoring, access to the London Coliseum and the ENO’s rehearsal process, inviting them to create short artistic responses through a variety of mediums including poetry, TikTok and photography. The first Creative Residency will be with poet and spoken word artist Kieron Rennie, who previously worked with the ENO on a specially commissioned performance piece based on young people’s submissions for ‘The Way I See It’ digital exhibition in partnership with Google Arts & Culture and ACE in summer 2020.
Rolling out nationally this September, to primary, secondary and SEND schools across the country is the ENO’s new music making programme ‘Finish This…’. Trialled in September 2021 across 14 schools in London, Liverpool, and Luton, ‘Finish This…’ is closely aligned to the curriculum and invites students to complete unfinished operatic works commissioned especially for them by the ENO, with opportunities for the Chorus and Orchestra to perform some of the students’ completed works.
In the realms of social prescribing, ENO Breathe, the ENO’s award-winning programme of singing, breathing and wellbeing developed in partnership with specialists at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, continues to help long-COVID sufferers across the country. Since its inception in summer 2020, the free online programme – led by singing specialists from the ENO – now works in partnership with over 70 NHS trusts across England, having reached over 1,000 participants.
This summer, ENO Engage are delighted to partner with Sky Arts on their ‘Access All Arts’ programme, a nationwide arts week for primary schools between 6 – 10 June 2022. Sky Arts has joined forces with the ENO and other leading artists and arts organisations to help bring the arts to every child in every primary school across the UK and Ireland, celebrating the arts and highlighting their importance in supporting the health and wellbeing of young people. The ENO are pleased to be one of the Hero Partners on programme, using opera as a starting point to inspire pupils to develop a love of music. To date, 5,000 teachers and 4,100 schools across the UK and Ireland have signed up to the programme. The ENO’s Sound Module offers two musical pathways for schools: music making and composition; and singing and vocal work. The Sound Module is launched by Artform Icons, YolanDa Brown, and Nicky Spence online with a wide spread of digital resources co-produced by the ENO. In addition, there is a special delivery week where the ENO are bringing our ‘Opera Squad’ school takeovers to primary schools in Leeds, with pop-up performances, assemblies, and workshops.
ENO Engage is also launching a new membership scheme for secondary schools across the country, including access to free and discounted tickets, pre-show talks and events, termly teacher training online, access to in-school workshops and youth casting opportunities.
This season, the ENO continues to significantly subsidise tickets, with free tickets for under 21s, major discounts for under 35s, and tickets starting at £10 for everyone else. We view this as an essential investment to welcome new audiences and keep our audiences returning, particularly in light of the country’s forthcoming economic difficulties.
We are delighted that 51% of our audience in the 2021/22 Season were first time bookers. The ENO uses its public investment in this way because we are serious about adhering to our founding principle of ensuring world class opera is accessible to everyone, whatever their background.
Over the course of the recent season, we have given away 4,000 tickets to those under the age of 21, and 12,000 people are now signed up to the Under 35s scheme. 14% of our audience this season booked through these schemes.
Broadcast continues to be an important investment for us, allowing us to share our work with people across the country in unexpected ways. Our broadcast work, such as the recent collaboration with Comic Relief, the Sky Arts series ‘Anyone Can Sing’, and Jennifer Saunders ‘From Couch to Opera House’ on Classic FM, gives our work a broader remit and helps introduce opera to those who may not have considered it before.
This season we are pleased to announce ‘Abracadopera’, an upcoming one-off 45 minute programme produced with Sony Music’s Somethin’ Else TV Studio for Sky Kids, available to watch on Sky Kids, Sky Arts and streaming service NOW this June. Designed to introduce young viewers to opera for the first time, this comedy-musical-drama brings together the ENO’s musical forces, Sky Kids talent and ENO Engage partner schools to create an epic adventure into the world of operatic music and performance, discovered through the artform’s best characters. When a school is forced to cancel their visit to the opera, a group of larger-than-life opera characters, unleashed from the Coliseum, team up to bring the opera to them, before the school bell rings. Elevating the everyday, this programme shows off the spectacle, drama and mischief of opera, perfect for young learners.
Listings information: ENO performances at the London Coliseum
Giacomo Puccini − Tosca
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
30 September – 4 November 2022
Sep 30, Oct 3, 5, 10, 13, 19, 27 & Nov 2, 4 at 19.30. Oct 8, 15, 22, 29 at 18.30
Conductor: Leo Hussain, Director: Christof Loy, Associate Director: Georg Zlabinger, Set and Costume Designer: Christian Schmidt, Lighting Designer: Olaf Winter, Associate Set Designer: Federico Pacher, Associate Costume Designer: Uta Baatz, Translator: Edmund Tracey.
Cast includes: Sinéad Campbell-Wallace (Tosca), Adam Smith (Cavaradossi), Noel Bouley (Scarpia), Lucia Lucas (a Sacristan), Msimelelo Mbali (Cesare Angelotti), Ossian Huskinson (Sciarrone), John Findon (Spoletta).
Arthur Sullivan – The Yeomen of the Guard
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
3 November – 2 December 2022
Nov 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 17, 19, 26 & Dec 1, 2 at 19.30. Nov 5, 19, 26 at 14.30
Relaxed performance: November 12th at 14.30
Conductor: Chris Hopkins, Director: Jo Davies, Set and Costume Designer: Anthony Ward, Lighting Designer: Oliver Fenwick, Video Designer: Andrezj Goulding, Choreographer: Kay Shepherd.
Cast includes: Anthony Gregory (Colonel Fairfax), Neal Davies (Sergeant Meryll), Alexandra Oomnens (Elsie Maynard), Heather Lowe (Phoebe Meryll), Steven Page (Sir Richard Cholmondeley), Susan Bickley (Dame Carruthers), Innocent Masuku (Leonard Meryll), Isabelle Peters (Kate).
Jake Heggie – It’s a Wonderful Life
Libretto by Gene Scheer
Based on the 1946 Frank Capra movie of the same name (by permission of Paramount Licensing, Inc.) and on The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern.
25 November – 10 December 2022
Nov 25, 29, 30 & Dec 3, 7, 9 at 19.30. Nov 27 & Dec 3, 10 at 15.00
Relaxed performance: December 7th at 11.00
Conductor: Nicole Paiement, Director and Choreographer: Aletta Collins, Set Designer: Giles Cadle, Costume Designer: Gabrielle Dalton, Lighting Designer: Andreas Fuchs.
Cast includes: Danielle de Niese (Clara), Frederick Ballentine (George), Michael Mayes (Henry F Potter), Jennifer France (Mary Hatch Bailey), Ronald Samm (Uncle Billy), Gweneth Ann Rand (Mother Bailey), Segomotso Shupinyaneng (Helen Bailey), Idunnu Münch, Zwakele Tshabalala, Keri Fuge and Ossian Hukinson (quartet of angels)
Georges Bizet – Carmen
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy after Prosper Mérimée
1 February – 24 February 2023
Feb 1, 9, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24 at 19.30. Feb 4, 11 at 18.30
Conductor: Kerem Hasant, Director: Calixto Bieito, Revival Director: Jamie Manton, Set Designer: Alfons Flores, Costume Designer: Merce Paloma, Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet, Revival Lighting Designer: Martin Doone.
Cast includes: Ginger Costa-Jackson (Carmen), Sean Panikkar (Don Jose), Sophie Bevan (Micaëla), Keel Watson (Zuniga), Benson Wilson (Morales), Alexandra Oomens (Frasquita), Niamh O’Sullivan (Mercedes), Seán Boylan (Dancairo), Innocent Masuku (Remendado).
Richard Wagner – The Rhinegold
Libretto by Richard Wagner
18 February – 10 March 2023
Feb 18, 21, 23 & Mar 1, 4, 8, 10 at 19.30. Feb 26 at 15.00
Conductor: Martyn Brabbins, Director: Richard Jones, Costume and Set Designer: Stewart Laing, Movement Director: Sarah Fahie, Video Designer: Akhila Krishnan, Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman, Translator: John Deathridge.
Cast includes: John Relyea (Wotan), Leigh Melrose (Alberich), Frederick Ballentine (Loge), Madeleine Shaw (Fricka), Jennifer Davis (Freia), Christine Rice (Erda), John Findon (Mmime), James Creswell (Fafner), Simon Bailey (Fasolt), Blake Denson (Donner), Julian Hubbard (Froh), Eleanor Dennis, Idunnu Münch and Katie Stevenson (Rheinmaidens).
Philip Glass – Akhnaten
Libretto by Philip Glass, in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel, Richard Riddell and Jerome Robbins
11 March – 5 April 2023
Mar 11, 18, 23, 24, 29, 30 & Apr 5 at 19.30. Apr 1 at 18.30
Relaxed performance: April 4th at 14.30
Conductor: Karen Kemensek, Director: Phelim McDermott, Set Designer: Tom Pye, Choreographer: Sean Gandini, Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard, Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet.
Cast includes: Anthony Roth Constanzo (Akhnaten), Chrystal E. Williams (Nefertiti), Haegee Lee (Queen Tye), BensonWilson (Horemhab), Keel Watson (Aye), Zachary James (Scribe), Paul Curievici (High Priest of Amon), Ella Taylor, Felicity Buckalnd, Sinéad O’Kelly and Lauren Young (Akhnaten & Nefertiti’s daughters).
Erich Wolfgang Korngold – The Dead City (Die tote Stadt)
Libretto by Paul Schott
25 March – 8 April 2023
Mar 25, 28, 31 & Apr 3, 6 at 19.30. Apr 8 at 15.00
Conductor: Kirill Karabits, Director: Annilese Miskimmon, Set Designer: Miriam Beuther, Translator: Kelley Rourke.
Cast includes: Rolf Romei (Paul), Alien Oakes (Marie/ Marietta), Dame Sarah Connolly (Brigitta), Audun Iverson (Frank).
Jeanine Tesori – Blue
Libretto by Tazewell Thompson
20 April – 4 May 2023
Apr 20, 26 & May 2, 4 at 19.30. Apr 23, 30 at 15.00
Conductor: Matthew Kofi Waldren, Director: Tinuke Craig, Set and Costume Designer: Alex Lowde.
Cast includes: Nadine Benjamin (Mother), Michael Sumuel (Father), Zwakele Tshabalala (Son), Ronald Samm (Reverend), Chanae Curtis, April Koyejo-Audiger and Idunnu Münch (Girlfriends), Joshua Conyers, Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi and John-Colyn Gyeantey (Policemen).
Henryk Górecki – Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
Text from various traditional anonymous Polish texts, Helena Wanda Blanzusiakówna
27 April – 6 May 2023
Apr 27 & May 3, 5 at 19.30 Apr 29 at 19.00. Apr 29 & May 6 at 16.00
Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya, Director/Designer: Isabella Bywater
Cast: Nicole Chevalier (soprano).
Notes to Editors
- ENO supporters: Weds 4 May, 12.00
- ENO Friends – Gold and Platinum: Tuesday 10 May, 12.00
- ENO Friends – Bronze and Silver: Friday 13 May, 12.00
- Public booking: Tuesday 24 May, 12.00
About the ENO
The English National Opera is the national opera company dedicated to one simple aim: making opera for everyone. We sing in English to be accessible to the widest possible audience, as well as offering free tickets for under 21s, and for as little as 10 pounds for everyone else. We create opera that feels different, theatrical, and creatively daring and have been doing this to an internationally recognised standard since being founded in 1931 as Sadler’s Wells Opera.
From the world’s first large-scale drive-in opera, creative projects with young people, and TV broadcasts on BBC Two and Sky Arts, we strive to be bold and adventurous in everything we do. We take seriously our role of not just producing innovative work, but also employing the arts as a catalyst for social good. We have partnered with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to develop ENO Breathe, a social prescribing intervention that provides crucial support to people recovering from COVID-19.
We are passionate about making opera more inclusive and representative of the society in which we live, actively recruiting musicians and singers from an ethnically diverse background in our Orchestra and Chorus Fellowships and Director Observership programme for emerging directors.
Showcasing the wealth of nationwide talent is fundamental to the ENO’s vision. Our talent development programmes continue to nurture the careers of singers (the ENO Harewood Artist programme), conductors (the ENO Mackerras Fellowship), musicians (ENO Evolve) and critics (ENO Response).
We believe that positive change for the industry also comes from removing barriers to access. We offer free tickets to under 21s to every performance and at every level of the theatre and have extended discounts for under 35s. We have increased our number of relaxed performances, designed to be more accessible for those who may benefit from a more relaxed environment at the theatre.
ENO is for everyone, and always will be.