Yamaha joins troubled opera

Yamaha joins troubled opera


norman lebrecht

September 06, 2016

ENO’s problems are legion. This publicity stunt won’t fix any of them.

pirates eno

press release:

English National Opera are thrilled to announce Yamaha as the Official Piano Partner of ENO. Yamaha is now the exclusive supplier of pianos to ENO and will collaborate with the Company to support ENO’s continued commitment to musical excellence.

As part of this exciting partnership, English National Opera will be the first opera company to use the revolutionary TransAcoustic™ piano, which is now located in the orchestra pit in the auditorium.  A fleet of grand and upright pianos across the company’s rehearsal studios in West Hampstead and in the bar spaces at the London Coliseum have also been installed.

Martin Fitzpatrick, ENO’s Head of Music said “At ENO we give our pianos a thorough workout. Creating the orchestral colours on a piano requires an instrument of artistry and reliability, delicacy and toughness, depth and precision. I am delighted that, through this new partnership, Yamaha have provided ENO with pianos that fully meet the demands we place upon them”.

Each model of Yamaha piano installed at ENO was selected following rigorous testing and evaluation by professional staff alongside ENO répétiteurs and music staff to ensure they had the correct tonal flexibility and durability required for its specific use, be that in the pit, a rehearsal room or a bar in the London Coliseum.

Charles Bozon, Director of Classic Division, from Yamaha Music UK commented “Yamaha pianos are to be found in many of the world’s finest venues and studios; this is the first time we have had the opportunity to partner a major opera company and we look forward to combining in introducing and inspiring many more people to music making with ENO.”

For more information and to see a short film of pianos in action, see: www.eno.org/yamaha


  • Richard Gibbs says:

    Not exactly earth shattering news, is it? ENO are going to have to pedal rather harder to save themselves, this is more like just tinkling the ivories.

  • jaxon says:

    This isn’t a publicity stunt. This is business as usual. Music organizations need lots of good pianos, and plenty of them have corporate sponsorships with some piano company or other. This is another post that makes me wonder if the author of this blog understands much about the industry he’s writing about.

  • Nick says:

    I’d reckon this deal benefits Yamaha as much if not more than ENO. The publicity they can gain will be worth a great deal.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I wonder what the deal actually is worth. I’m sure they are not free pianos. What are the advantages of having a “piano partner”.

    • Bryan99 says:

      How are you ‘sure’?? I’m sure you can be equally ‘sure’ that ENO would have sought out the best possible deal to suit their finances and will have probably bestowed the title ‘partner’ in return for a degree of generosity on Yamaha’s side. As Jaxon says – business as usual – good business at that.

  • Christopher White says:

    There is no sense in which this is a publicity stunt. It is, as others have commented, the ENO getting on with business as usual and addressing a fundamental musical issue connected with the running of the House. You should be applauding this! As Martin Fitzpatrick points out, the instruments are used for a huge proportion of rehearsals, as well as performances of pieces which require piano. I should know, it was my job to beat out operas and piano parts on them not so long ago! It’s not a particularly glamorous story perhaps, because the role of repetiteur is not a particularly glamorous one, but my goodness it will make a difference to the pianists who play day in, day out – not to mention to the singers, conductors, chorus, technical staff and assistants for whom the pianist is their ‘orchestra’ for a substantial part of each rehearsal period.

    • Anon says:

      Hear hear! The old pianos at ENO re an absolute embarrassment and totally unsuitable for the job. They were also horrid to play and caused aches and pains for those expected to play them on a day to day basis.

      This is a great yet overdue step for the music department.