tue 12/11/2019

Opera for Everybody: The Story of English National Opera | reviews, news & interviews

Opera for Everybody: The Story of English National Opera

Opera for Everybody: The Story of English National Opera

ENO's rocky road to all-inclusiveness gets an easy ride from Susie Gilbert

Love it or loathe it, the powerhouse effect is back at English National Opera. The era which gave its name to the sobriquet, that challenging time in the 1980s and early 1990s when Davids Pountney, Alden and Fielding skewed the stage and Mark Elder matched their vision in the pit, now has an equal. The ENO calendar year has just ended with Rupert Goold's Chinese restaurant shake-up of a Turandot , everything we saw beautifully thought out and focused to knife-edge brilliance, and every sound emanating from the ENO Orchestra and Chorus under Ed Gardner sensual-perfect. Alas, the kind of vigorous debate it's generated is hardly reflected in Susie Gilbert's hard-working, diligent history of the company.

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.