ENO plans Messiah with twice as many soloists

ENO plans Messiah with twice as many soloists


norman lebrecht

March 08, 2021

English National Opera is planning a BBC2 Messiah for Easter. Singers, chorus and orchestra will be socially distanced across the stage and auditorium, but there will be twice as many soloists as we’d expect:

ENO will return to the custom of performances in Handel’s lifetime, using a broader spectrum of solo voices than the usual four, featuring instead a bigger cast of eight outstanding soloists. Established, celebrated stars of the operatic world such as mezzo-soprano Christine Rice and countertenor Iestyn Davies, join the exciting new talents of current and former ENO Harewood Artists – sopranos Nadine Benjamin and Nardus Williams, tenors Anthony Gregory and John Findon, baritone Benson Wilson and bass William Thomas.

Who gets which aria?

pic: Messiah from Scratch, 2014


  • yujafan says:

    sounds like a bun fight at the ENO for the best tunes

  • Siegfried says:

    If this is as powerful and moving as ENO’s performance of the Mozart Requiem, we are in for a treat this Easter

  • Ulrich Brass says:

    No one is commenting the fact that they are condensing all the music into one hour?

  • Patricia says:

    How large will the chorus and orchestra be? Please tell us it won’t be a cast of thousands production.

  • Una says:

    They staged this in December 2008 or 2009 and it was excellent. Having something at all to mark Holy Week and Easter on the BBC television these days makes a very big change. Usually it gets ignored or marked by some token gesture for many years at either 7am or 11pm, incase of being seen as a Christian broadcaster!