2 Koreans, 2 Japanese and a Turk join English National Opera

2 Koreans, 2 Japanese and a Turk join English National Opera


norman lebrecht

August 10, 2021

Five ENO new Orchestra Fellows have been announced at the London Coliseum, part of a scheme by the national opera company to develop young talent.

The new recruits are violinists Emre Engin and Naori Takahashi, viola player Jisu Song (pictured), cellist Tamaki Sugimoto and bassist Kai Kim.

ENO is, as its title proclaims, a national opera. It sings in English for an English-speaking audience. Its designated role is to nurture native talent.

Good to see it is branching out.



  • Pianofortissimo says:

    ‘It sings in English for an English-speaking audience.’

    Can they play their violas etc in English?


  • Una says:

    Yes, for an English-speaking audience who speak coloquial and idiomatic English, and for as many again who don’t speak English well or not at all as they can’t afford Covent Garden! With all its ups and down, I just love ENO and love opera in English, even though a singer myself.

  • Marfisa says:

    Some context missing here.The five one-year fellowships were for BAME string players. Perhaps the comment should have been on the absence of the B element?

  • Gunther says:

    Oh Norman…you can’t help yourself… let’s add a little of bit of xenophobia in the mix to get more clicks

  • Mel Cadman says:

    I think the legitimate point is that schemes like this should be focusing their resources on British musicians, where their actual (or assumed) talent would justify this in order to give them additional support, rather than simply selecting musicians whose existing success is expected to bring fame and prestige to the institution. The BBC Young Generation Artists scheme seems to select increasingly few British individuals and ensembles. Indeed the whole classical music business in the UK seems increasingly hesitant to appoint British conductors and, in Scotland at least, very few Scottish musicians to its orchestral and opera companies. I’ve no doubt critics will maintain this is narrow-minded nationalism… talent is all… tell that to our many great musicians, singers etc. whom have had to make their professional careers and home outwith the UK.

  • Sorana Howard says:

    Such a xenofobic article! Should be reported! These musicians should be praised for their great achievements only…we don’t need to know or care where they come from! Shame on you Norman! Maybe they should apologise for not being aryans !

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Yes, it ‘should be reported’. Get those authorities on the line right away and they’ll send the Thought Police out and ruin their reputations. Go on; you know you want to!! I hope you were wearing your uniform when you posted that.

      • True North says:

        If only you had the intellectual rigour to back up your views… you’d be formidable! Sadly, it seems you don’t. Just noise and hot air, never any substance.

  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    Great! The Turk can sing the role of Osmin.