ENO’s music director drops out of TV Requiem

ENO’s music director drops out of TV Requiem


norman lebrecht

November 05, 2020

BBC Two is to broadcast Mozart’s Requiem from English National Opera on Saturday 14 November at 7pm.

The press release says: Replacing Martyn Brabbins who unfortunately has had to withdraw from conducting, ENO are delighted to announce that Mark Wigglesworth will now be filling the role of Conductor.


  • V.Lind says:

    Surely the big news here is that the BBC is broadcasting classical music on TV.

    Let’s hope it rates well — does it compete with Strictly? — so that the idea might be repeated.

    • Firing Back says:

      You can be sure that if the BBC is broadcasting it there’s some box-ticking agenda behind it.

      • Will says:

        They can’t win really can they?

      • V.Lind says:

        So you will be counting people of colour on the stage? Instead f just, like, listening to them to hear if they are performing well?

        Let me know if there is a trans anywhere in sight or sound. Either “gender” — not fussy.

        • Matias says:

          “So you will be counting people of colour on the stage?”

          It’s perfectly OK for some people to do it, apparently.

      • Anthony Sayer says:

        I’m tempted to agree, but maybe Tim Davie is already having an effect.

    • fat fingers says:

      Apologies… I thought I was scrolling then realised I hit the “thumbs down” icon. Thinking I could undo it, I hit it again only to register a second “thumbs down” instead… Sorry!

      P.S. Definitely a thumbs up to classical music being given air time on the main BBC channels!

  • Peter San Diego says:

    The wording is very strange. Is Brabbins “withdrawing from conducting” altogether, or just from this engagement, or just for a short time? It sounds potentially ominous without further elaboration. I wish all the best for this excellent conductor.

    • Nik says:

      I also think that “filling the role of Conductor” is an odd way of putting it. Simply “conducting” would have done the same job.

  • Dave says:

    Blimey, classical music on BBC2, not away on some BBC4/iplayer ghetto. Something odd afoot at Langham Place…

  • C Rogers says:

    To V.Lind. I don’t think it would be competing with Strictly Come Dancing, would it? It will stand with an obviously lesser audience but non the less a good choice for broadcast. My belief that there is always an audience for good music and the potential for more. And to Firing Back. I don’t have any internal knowledge of BBC policy/practice, officially or unofficially. Can you say why you think it’s ‘box ticking’ exercise? It’s clear to me that far too often on social media there are comments that are passively critical or aggressive which leaves those without knowledge or indeed an agenda non the wiser…..

    • V.Lind says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Seasonally appropriate, recognition factor, not interminable, not hard to respond to if you stumble into it by accident.

      I suspect Firing Back is having a bad day.

  • Nick2 says:

    Wigglesworth is a marvelous conductor. His Requiem will be well worth hearing.

    • Herbie G says:

      His Requiem, Nick2? I didn’t know that Brabbins had either written one or had passed away!
      I wish Brabbins well – marvellous conductor.

    • Herbie Gwenc says:

      …and the same could be said of Wigglesworth, but of course he is, I assume, in perfect health.

  • Una says:

    I had a ticket to hear this live tomorrow and travel down 200 miles to London but, of course, the plug was pulled on it all with the English lockdown and everything shut including my hotel. We were told that we didn’t have to contribute to the closed down event as there was a contingency plan in place. Be it a cynical move or not, who cares. We should take it as it is, and be grateful that there is classical music on BBCTV 2 other than the Last Night of the Proms, and that it’s not being parked onto BBCTV 4 with the patronising commentary. This has to be good news all round and I for one am very grateful as I have always been a great fan of ENO through thick and thin. Having my colleague, Sarah Connolly, will be a real treat to see her back singing again.

  • Robin Smith says:

    The singers are Sarah Connolly, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Gerald Finley and Ed Lyon. Danielle De Niese presents.

    • V.Lind says:

      Oh, look! The Canadian box ticked. Wish I got BBC2!

      • Maria says:

        He’s lived in England and studied here probably now for far longer than Canada as they give him work and his excellent singing teacher is here too, a colleague of mine. Lovely singer and a great line up of singers all round. Really looking forward to the performance, Covid and all.

  • Firing Back says:

    And oh look – the woke box ticked as well, in many ways, it seems.
    Too bad that Lebrecht censors comments relating to the singers.

    It IS topical, Norman, that singers who are thrust into the limelight and named in a news story are scrutinised regarding their online behaviour. Do try and keep up.