Edward Gardner is no longer English National Opera's best kept secret. The former choral scholar and repetiteur goes from strength to strength helming ENO through productive and interesting times.
The world's stages are now beckoning. During a break in final rehearsals for Mozart's great opera seria "Idomeneo" in a new production from multi-media queen Katie Mitchell he talks informally to Edward Seckerson about what being music director of a company like this entails. The long conversations with directors (what kind of things is Terry Gilliam asking him ahead of his operatic debut next season?), the relationship with chorus and orchestra, the psychology involved in nurturing singers and getting the very best from them.
He talks about ENO's Young Artist programme and what makes it different from other such schemes. He talks about next season - the two Fausts - Gounod and Berlioz - and his first Boccanegra. And, of course, his life beyond ENO and how his operatic work impacts on his concert work. Just how "theatrical" is Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius?