Opera house takes the popular option: ENO seeks bigger audiences to cut pounds 2.3m deficit

THE NEW team heading the English National Opera yesterday announced its first season with a shift towards more popular operas to attract bigger audiences.

The ENO, which has an accumulated deficit of pounds 2.3m, will also hold seat prices at 1992-93 levels and introduce half-price seats for children. There will also be some performances beginning at 6pm to encourage people who live outside London to attend.

Productions in the season starting in August will include traditional favourites such as Puccini's La Boheme, which will be revived in the same season, Mozart's Figaro and Cosi fan tutte, Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. Some are revivals but La Boheme and Cosi are new productions.

Sian Edwards, the new music director, said the part of Mimi in the new production of La Boheme will be played by the American singer Roberta Alexander, with the English singer Rosalind Sutherland taking over later in the season. She said at a press conference at the London Coliseum that it had proved difficult to find a soprano in England able and available to play one of Puccini's best loved roles.

Miss Edwards added afterwards: 'There is no one in the company here at the moment who could do it. The previous management operated a flexible policy, using outside people. Dennis Marks and I are more interested in bringing people towards the company and having a bigger roster to choose from.'

Referring to next season's repertory, she said: 'Of course popular operas are a way of bringing new people in. A large number of people have heard of Boheme even if they haven't seen it.'

Dennis Marks, who replaces Peter Jonas as director-general, said that he wanted to renovate the company's home at the London Coliseum, and would be launching a fund-raising campaign. Mr Marks added that he was budgeting for a surplus next year and this would be the first step towards paying off the deficit. The only real solution was to bring more people back to see opera performed by the company. Audiences fell by 6 per cent last year.

Highlights of next season's new productions include Wagner's Lohengrin, the first Wagner at the ENO for eight years, directed by Tim Albery; La Boheme directed by Steven Pimlott; Smetana's The Two Widows directed by David Pountney; Der Rosenkavalier produced by Jonathan Miller; the world premiere of Judith Weir's Blond Eckbert produced by Tim Hopkins and Janacek's Jenufa produced by Lucy Bailey.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower