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Half of English National Opera season to be directed by women

English National Opera’s 2019/20 season features seven new productions and three revivals, the greatest number of new productions for five years.

The season celebrates ‘the rise of the feminine’, after the last season’s focus on the notion of the patriarch and toxic masculinity, and follows aspects of powerful women and the men they inspire. For the first time more than half of the new productions are directed by women.

ENO’s first “Relaxed Performance” will help to break down barriers for people with learning disabilities and physical impairments who come to see a production, and the number of signed performances has increased.

Another innovation is that the first cohort of BAME Chorus Fellows, tenors Satriya Krisna  and James Liu and sopranos Isabelle Peters and Julia Daramy-Williams, will perform the ENO Chorus.

Artistic Director of ENO, Daniel Kramer, said:

‘The ten operas we are going to present on our main stage will touch on something very relevant today: the rise of the feminine in the world around us and within ourselves. What is a healthy balance of feminine and masculine energy in our society, our systems and, above all else, within ourselves? If last season questioned what aspects of ourselves and our society we might choose to lay to rest, this season asks what aspects we choose to carry forward together.

Pushing the boundaries

‘It is so important that ENO continues to push the boundaries of what is possible on the operatic stage and at the same time keep bringing in new audiences who may not have considered us before. Whether you’re a theatre-lover or a Philip Glass fan, a dance addict or maybe just want a rollicking night out, there’s going to be something for everybody.’

ENO Chief Executive, Stuart Murphy, said:

‘Hopefully people can see that ENO has its mojo back, once again curating seasons that are as eclectic as they are risk taking, against a backdrop of financial stability and behind-the-scenes focus.

‘Embracing new audiences is key to our future, so we are delighted that our initial short-run experiment to give free tickets to Under 18’s in the balcony on Saturdays was met with such enthusiasm, allowing us to give away over 1000 tickets to young people. In 19/20 we will make this initiative a permanent fixture throughout the Coliseum part of our ENO season, and will dramatically increase access by extending Free Tickets for Under 18’s to the balcony for every Friday performance and every Opening Night.’