Orchestral Sunset at English National Opera?

Orchestral Sunset at English National Opera?


norman lebrecht

April 05, 2016

There has been much muttering about importing a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard to the home of a national opera company, but veteran critic Edward Seckerson was surprised last night to find the ENO orchestra highlighted as never before.

The ENO Orchestra was firmly part of the action in Lonny Price’s nifty staging, nestling among the steel walkways of James Noone’s set, and for once they were as much the star of the show as the lady everyone had come to see.

It’s been 20 years since I saw Glenn Close…

Read on here.


Production note: Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.

UPDATE: And this from Lloyd Evans in the Spectator:

Visually this production is immaculate. A huge orchestra, seated on stage, is partially concealed beneath a network of intersecting staircases that doubles as the movie-lot and as Norma’s sprawling home. Golden lights illuminate the musicians against an azure backdrop that creates the blue-orange formula beloved of unpretentious, crowd-pleasing designers. And the music, though not Lloyd Webber’s finest, is bashed out with faultless efficiency.


  • Eddie Mars says:

    And was the new Artistic Director there to welcome the new production in?

    I should ko-ko!

  • V.Lind says:

    Surprised this was not noted: ENO won big at the Olivier Awards the oter night:

    “In the opera categories, the ENO and its chorus, which almost went on strike last month in a pay dispute, won the outstanding achievement award for three productions at the Coliseum: The Force of Destiny, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and The Queen of Spades.

    The ENO’s head of music Martin Fitzpatrick, who accepted the award, said: “Obviously I very much hope it will give the orchestra and chorus a lift after a tough time. I think it will give them the confidence to remember what the important things are and that is the performances.””

    Source: http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/apr/03/judi-dench-wins-record-eighth-olivier-award

    Nice to see a little pat on the back after its recent tough seasons.