Over on Broadhurst Gardens the English National Opera (ENO) has launched its ENO Studio Live programme. This involves performances in the former Decca studios, made famous by recordings by the likes of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones and others. For a reminder of what the building is like from the inside we went back stage last year.
But now you get a chance to go backstage too as part of the ENO Studio Live programme, which will be showcasing rising talent in the British opera scene. The productions are performed in English and are fully staged. The idea was conceived by Daniel Kramer, the ENO’s Artistic Director, who felt that the opportunity to open up the famous studios for audiences to see the work of up-and-coming directors was just too good to be missed.
These days the studios are primarily used as rehearsal rooms and business administration offices by the ENO. It is relatively rare for the building to be open to the public so this new programme offers the chance to attend intimate opera performances in a place of historical importance to the music industry. With a capacity of just 200 the audience will be much closer to the performers than they would most likely be at a more traditional opera venue.
The directors of the two productions are both in their 20s. Matthew Monaghan, director of Trial by Jury, told West Hampstead Life that ENO Studio Live is a great way to support the next generation of directors by giving them the opportunity to have their own shows, working with full choruses and celebrated performers. He also stated that the shows will be performed in a very special space where operas are rehearsed and where talent is developed.
The first production is the UK premier of The Day After, a new opera by Jonathan Dove which based on the Greek mythological story of Phaeton. The opera is directed by Jamie Manton and is conducted by James Henshaw with a full chorus and stage productions. This is showing on 26, 27, 30 and 31 May at 7.30pm
This is followed by Trial by Jury on 3, 6 June at 7pm, 5 June at 7pm and 8.30pm. This production is a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan satirising the pomposity of the law. This opera originally ran in the 1870s but has been updated for modern times including a satirical take on celebrity culture. Trial by Jury is directed by Matthew Monaghan and is conducted by Martin Fitzpatrick.
Tickets for ENO Studio Live are £25, with a buy-both discount of 20% available online and from the box office. For further details visit the ENO website at https://www.eno.org/ or call the box office on 020 78459300.