Benjamin Britten

Paul Bunyan

Part of ENO Studio Live. A mythical giant leads a team of lumberjacks to create their dreams of a new world.

Composed by Benjamin Britten. Libretto by W. H. Auden. Performed by arrangement with Faber Music Ltd, London.

In a first for the company, English National Opera will perform Paul Bunyan, Britten’s retelling of the legend of the eponymous giant, as part of its ENO Studio Live series. ENO Studio Live presents the immense power of opera in intimate theatre environments while celebrating emerging and established UK talents.

Following his success with Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, part of the inaugural ENO Studio Live in 2017, Jamie Manton directs a production that explores dreams, and the nature of civilisation and its impact on the ecology of the world we inhabit.

The piece also marks ENO’s first ever staging at Wilton’s Music Hall in London.

Paul Bunyan features designs by Camilla Clarke, a winner of the 2015 Linbury Prize for Stage Design, who most recently designed Bad Roads at the Royal Court Theatre. It will be conducted by ENO Charles Mackerras Conducting Fellow Matthew Kofi Waldren who has assisted on productions of Don Giovanni and The Barber of Seville, and conducted a performance of The Marriage of Figaro at the London Coliseum in 2018.

In his first performance with ENO, Olivier Award-winning actor Simon Russell Beale provides the offstage voice of the titular giant. Known as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation’, (The Independent), Beale’s recorded voiceover stands in for the physical appearance of the lumberjack with the 3.7 mile-stride.

For disabled patrons, please note free carer tickets are available directly via the Box Office on 020 7845 9300 or at


‘A brave step forward for ENO’

The Stage

‘More ENO Studio Live, please’

The Observer

Running Time
2hrs 20mins

Tickets from £17.50*

Sung in English

*ENO charges a £1.50 booking fee per ticket, or a maximum of £6 per transaction.

All performances are at Wilton’s Music Hall, London, E1 8JB.

For more information, please contact our box office on 020 7845 9300 or


Discover Paul Bunyan

Find out more about Paul Bunyan including the synopsis and introductory guide »

Creative Team