ENO’s casting cupboard is looking bare

Sophie Joyce is leaving the Coliseum as head of casting at the end of this week.

Her predecessor John McMurray will step down as senior artistic advisor next summer.

That leaves room for a rethink on the casting front.

Until new appointments are made, board members Brian Dickie and Sarah Playfair will provide casting input.


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  • Given the constant booking of poor quality American debutants over the past couple of years, their departure may be no bad thing. Perhaps former ENO young artists and emerging talent may get a look-in now.The new JD for the new Head of Casting, currently being recruited, promises a new approach, rather the ‘mail order catalogue’ approach currently being adopted.

  • Doesn’t Sarah Playfair want the job? Her hand in casting at Garsington – viz the superb mostly-Brit Idomeneo – would suggest that at last ENO might have proper UK-centric casts. Whereas as it stands the number of singers NOT currently being allowed/invited to appear at ENO reads like a Who’s Who of opera.

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