ENO deal: Orchestra will play countryhouse opera

ENO deal: Orchestra will play countryhouse opera


norman lebrecht

April 21, 2017

What do do with the ENO orchestra when the Coliseum is rented out for six months of the year? A solution has just been revealed.

Press statement:

English National Opera (ENO) and Grange Park Opera (GPO) have today announced the formation of a three-year partnership, beginning in June 2018. Each year ENO’s award-winning Orchestra will play for productions presented by Grange Park Opera at West Horsley Place. West Horsley Place, the first opera house to be built in the UK in the 21st century, is the new home of Grange Park Opera and will open on 8 June 2017.

ENO’s Music Director, Martyn Brabbins, commented on the partnership:

’The orchestra of English National Opera is widely renowned for its musically dramatic contribution to countless successful opera productions at our home, the London Coliseum.  Grange Park Opera, in its spectacular new theatre-in-the- woods, has extended an invitation for our Orchestra to perform with them, and I’m delighted by this fantastic opportunity for both ENO, and GPO to enhance their already-excellent artistic profiles.’

Wasfi Kani, Founder and CEO of Grange Park Opera, said:

‘The curtain has raised on a new act for Grange Park Opera, West Horsley Place is an exceptional location: its beauty and historical glamour, its atmosphere and location, all add up to a magical setting for a fairytale that has come true. Part of that fairytale is this collaboration with the ENO Orchestra whom I’ve admired for 40 years. I am thrilled.’


  • Alexander says:

    Britain’s got money ….. thanks to brexit ? 😉

  • Halldor says:

    “Its musically dramatic contribution”…Martyn Brabbins is an articulate and intelligent guy – he must be mortified to have quotes written (or horribly rewritten) for him by semi-literate PR interns. That first sentence has all the hallmarks of a kid who doesn’t quite get it, trying to cram all the salient facts into a single overloaded statement. The lingua franca of modern classical music marketing…

    Good initiative for ENO though. Why not? The LPO does Glyndebourne.

    • Lisa Simons says:

      Wow, what an unnecessarily rude and patronising comment.

      I know a few of the PR guys at ENO and actually this quote came straight from Martyn… but then I suppose it is always easiest (and laziest) to go straight for the administration teams, regardless of facts or circumstance. An uninspired and unpleasant trope I’m afraid – not sure an ‘us/them’ narrative does much to help anyone?

  • Richard Gibbs says:

    It’s good to know that GPO will at least have a great orchestra. What is rather more pertinent is whether ENO are charging out their orchestra at a commercial rate or whether they are using part of their still substantial Arts Council grant of £12 Million to subsidise this. It does seem odd that ENO, which is state funded to provide opera at the Coliseum, has sold on the services of one of its major assets to another opera company, thus limiting its own ability to fully service its London season. Always providing, that is, that it ever restores this to anything like its former length.

  • Former Opera Singer says:

    English National Opera? A joke!
    How can a company of this former stature, claim to be a National opera company when it is prostituting itself by performing musicals & now forced to provide a pit orchestra for Bamber Gasgoine’s new elitist Opera House

    It’s about time ENO calls it a day, saves the taxpayer a huge waste of money, & stops pretending to be something it no longer isn’t!