ENO launches new ‘casual’ initiative to attract younger audiences

Charlotte Smith4th Oct 2012
ENO CEO Loretta Tomasi, Damon Albarn, ENO director John Berry and director RufusENO CEO Loretta Tomasi, Damon Albarn, ENO director John Berry and director Rufus Norris at the launch (photo: Alex Brenner)

English National Opera has launched a new initiative inviting young people and operatic novices to dress down for special performances. ‘Undress for Opera’ will present four informal evenings in which audience members are encouraged to dress casually in an effort to demystify the opera-going experience. 

‘At ENO, we believe that opera is for everyone. It's not posh or stuffy, and you don't need to dress-to-the-nines to enjoy this incredible artform,’ says the company’s launch material. ‘That's why this season ENO is inviting you to get undressed, put your preconceptions aside and join us for four special Undress performances.’

The performances – of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Nov 15), Verdi’s La traviata (Feb 7), Michel van der Aa’s Sunken Garden (April 18 at the Barbican), and Philip Glass’s The Perfect American (June 13) – will also feature pre-performance chats, post-show drinks with the cast, and a ‘best seat in the house’ for the cost of £25.

At the initiative’s launch, artistic director John Berry spoke of ENO’s desire to foster its younger audiences. Currently 30 per cent of ENO audiences are under the age of 44, a figure the company wishes to increase to 40 per cent. Also at the launch were Blur singer Damon Albarn and director Rufus Norris, whose opera Dr Dee was staged at the Coliseum last year.

For more information on ‘Undress for Opera’ click here.

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