ENO announces 21/22 season
14 May 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber
English National Opera returns to the London Coliseum with HMS Pinafore, a new Ring Cycle, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Handmaid's Tale plus revivals.
Comedy director Cal McCrystal returns to the ENO to direct its first ever production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. Richard Jones will direct Wagner’s The Valkyrie, the first production in a new Ring Cycle to be staged at the London Coliseum across the next five years, co-produced with the Metropolitan Opera. Jamie Manton makes a main stage directorial debut with a new production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with Sally Matthews in the title role. ENO Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon makes her directorial debut for the company with a new production of Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale, featuring Kate Lindsey and conducted by Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro.
Revivals are Phelim McDermott’s Satyagraha with Sean Panikkar in the role of Gandhi conducted by Carolyn Kuan, Jonathan Miller’s La bohème conducted by Ben Glassberg and Phelim McDermott’s Così fan tutte conducted by Kerem Hasan with three ENO Harewood Artists in principal roles.
Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon said, "to join the ENO at such a turbulent time for the industry has been a privilege as I have been blown away by the energy and commitment of the company and the fabulous freelance talent we work with. We have worked hard in lockdown to continue to bring new artistic work in innovative and pioneering ways. The overwhelming determination of all to create ambitious and brilliant opera no matter what the challenges will make this a very special season for the ENO."
CEO Stuart Murphy added, "after 3 years at the company, I continue to be inspired by the relentless innovation at the heart of the ENO. We have kept audiences’ needs front and centre during lockdown, from our social prescribing intervention for long-COVID ENO Breathe, to drive-in La bohème, TV coverage of Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah to ‘Nessun Dorma’ on Comic Relief, enabling millions to experience the ENO's work. We were founded to bring world-class opera to everyone, and I’m very proud that the ENO reaffirmed its place as the national opera house for everyone.
"Our teams produced work in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, we were proactive and unequivocal in our continual push for greater fairness and representation on stage, backstage and in the pit, and we showed operational resilience and flexibility in the face of continual change.
"This season, we will extend our free ticket scheme to everyone under the age of 21, proactively growing the next generation of opera fans. Significantly, this will include seats across all parts of the auditorium and for every performance. We are unique in offering this, only possible thanks to the public investment from Arts Council England and the DCMS. Our commitment to those with disabilities, health conditions and different access needs continues and this year we are delighted to grow the number of relaxed performances, with two more, both on the main stage."