Let’s try drive-in opera

Let’s try drive-in opera


norman lebrecht

April 24, 2020

English National Opera is planning September performances in the grounds of Alexandra Palace, where the audience will sit in 300 cars and the performers will be safely distanced from one another.

Bicycles and motorbikes will also be admitted.

The first 12 shows will be shortened versions of La Bohème and Magic Flute.

Worth a try, right? It could be an interim solution for Glyndebourne, Grange Park and other summer fests.

Read more here.


  • James says:

    Fantastic idea! I hope it catches on.

  • Ron Swanson says:

    Worth a shot, I am not sure that this will work without amplification. However if it puts money in the bank and gives people a job that doesn’t really matter.

    • SVM says:

      This is the critical question — outdoor opera performances can and have been done without amplification, but it is not clear whether the proposed space and layout would be amenable.

      • Ron Swanson says:

        I think the big problem is them car windows are going to be perpendicular to the stage. Plus the article suggests 300 cars. I hope they can do it without amplification but it’s going to be complex task

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Enjoyable night for beginners perhaps. For the rest of us the best alternative is our record collections. I have never enjoyed watching operas or concerts in DVD format.

  • Joe says:

    A quirky idea, but sounds fun! I read in The Guardian that they may be rolling out the concept to other areas of the country too, and would definitely go to one if it were held in my area.

  • CA says:

    Weather dependent…..Even if there’s a covered stage, cars won’t want to be there in the rain, wipers on, engines on etc. Hope they schedule rain dates.

  • Brian says:

    Interesting idea. I wonder how they’ll manage the lines to the bathrooms.

  • Gustavo says:


  • Alasdair Munro says:

    Room for buses, higher ticket prices for the top deck, and window seats?

  • Stuart L. says:

    Well I’ll go – I live just 30 seconds from the park entrance!

  • David Howell says:

    Full marks to ENO for trying something