ENO Supporters' Events Explained

With the launch of the new season, we would like to remind you of the fantastic events on offer to you as an ENO Supporter.

These events are curated with you in mind and we hope you are as excited to book a ticket to them as we are.

Find out more about becoming an ENO Friend, supporting the Company and special offers for ENO supporters.

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Dress Rehearsals

Our dress rehearsals are a unique opportunity for you to see a production before opening night.

A dress rehearsal is the first time the company runs a production in front of a full audience. Our singers and directors use it to gauge audience reaction, providing them with a way to test material and explore themes before it opens to the public.

Dress rehearsals are working rehearsals, so you will find that the Stalls seating area is off limits. The Stalls are full of ENO staff working on the production, from Music Staff to Wardrobe, and if you take a peek during the show, you will see them scribbling down notes under tiny lights during the rehearsal. This is the last chance they have to make changes to the production before opening night.

At every rehearsal we have school groups and members of our community and outreach programmes in the Balcony. Our aim to bring opera to everyone really comes to the fore at dress rehearsals as we bring young people to see opera at ENO, many of them for the very first time.

For Friends and Supporters, dress rehearsals are a very social occasion. Many meet old friends and some make new ones through their love of opera. At some of our rehearsals, we offer lunch or dinner in the American Bar Restaurant which you can book for yourself and some friends, or even a birthday party!

Dress rehearsals offer Friends and Supporters the opportunity to see our productions from just £5 with the highest ticket price being £30. We always try to have a range of start times for morning, afternoon and evening, ensuring that all of you, whether still working, retired or living outside London, will have the chance to attend a rehearsal.

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American Bar Restaurant opening times during dress rehearsals

The American Bar Restaurant is open exclusively for ENO members around select dress rehearsals in the 2019/20 season.
Featuring the very best locally sourced, fresh produce, Head Chef Mathieu Archipoff has crafted an inspiring seasonal menu, paired with a world-class wine selection.

With the set menu just £22 for two courses, or £27 for three courses, it is more affordable that you might think.

Take a look at the menu


Luisa Miller – Mon 10 Feb – Dinner service from 4.30pm

Madam Butterfly – Mon 24 Feb – Dinner service from 4.30pm

If you would like to book a table at a dress rehearsal, you can make a reservation below, email delicious@eno.org or call 020 7845 9202.


Opera Previews

An Opera Preview is a panel discussion and gives you behind-the-scenes access, offering you a glimpse into how we take opera from page to stage. They are a great way to be more involved in our work for only £15.

The panel discussions last for one hour and features people from around our company, such as directors, conductors, singers, members of our award-winning Chorus and Orchestra, costume makers and technicians. They will give you a thorough insight into their creative process and what to expect from the show we are creating.

Before the talk, there will be a complimentary drinks reception. The room will be decorated with features from the production and can include the mood boards used to create costumes and props, designs of the set lighting, and technical drawings used to build the set on our stage. The lighting and technical designs are often tricky to decipher but there will be a member of the Development staff in the room who will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you.

For our Opera Circle Supporters, we host supper as soon as the talk ends. Members of the panel will join you for supper so if you don’t want to ask your question during the Q&A, you can do it over a glass of wine.

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Listen to previous Opera Previews


An Evening with…

An Evening with… is a relatively new series and is now one of our favourite events.

These special evenings give you the chance to spend a few hours with your favourite ENO stars. In previous years, we have had the company of Dame Sarah Connolly, Andrew Shore, Roderick Williams, Dame Josephine Barstow and Sir John Tomlinson. Each star has given us a fascinating insight into their illustrious careers, sharing their passion for opera and our company, but also little anecdotes and secrets from the set.

Our stars will take us on a journey through their careers with musical elements; from video footage of performances to treating us to their favourite arias.

We are pleased to announce that for next season, An Evening with Sir Willard White and An Evening with Nicky Spence, former ENO Harewood Artist. What a line up.

Join us at some of our favourite locations in London and enjoy a drink with other Supporters before the talk begins. You will of course have the opportunity to ask all your burning questions during the talk and to share a drink with the stars once the talk has ended.

Book now

Listen to previous An Evening with…events


Coffee Mornings

Have you ever wondered who actually puts together those technical drawings you see at the Opera Previews, or who is in charge of the surtitles? Coffee Mornings give you the chance to find out.

We coax our colleagues out of their offices with the promise of coffee and excellent conversations to bring you even closer to the inner workings of our company. Get up close and personal with the people who are not only integral to what we put on our stage, but who are far more interesting than any of us in the Development Department.

This season we have the privilege of bringing to you Katie Hrbek from the Drawing Office and Damien Kennedy from our Music Library.

Katie has the fascinating job of taking concept images from Set Designers and turning them into building plans for our set builders, allowing them to accurately construct the Designer and Director’s vision. The model boxes you see at some of our events are made by her, she’s our very own ‘opera architect’.

Damien not only looks after our surtitles but he also looks after the scores used by our Music Department. Every single score is like a living document and must be kept up to date with any changes made during rehearsal, ensuring that all departments are working from the same sheet. His office, the Music Library, is the loudest library in the West End.

These events are extremely popular and sell out very fast so be sure to book as soon as you can to ensure you get your place. We promise you, you don’t want to miss out on these events and you especially don’t want to miss out on the excellent pastries prepared onsite by our Catering Department. They’re delicious!

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Opening Nights

Opening Nights are some of the biggest nights of the season.

There is a sense of excitement as soon as you enter the London Coliseum. The majority of us in the Development Department will be there to greet you, either in the foyer or down in the American Bar Restaurant.

If you have supported one of our productions, or are a member of the Director’s Circle, you can join us for a backstage tour 90 minutes before curtain up and catch a glimpse of the set as we put the finishing touches on it. If you’re not sure which ones you can come to, don’t worry, you will be invited by one of us in the Development Department.

For our Opera Circle Supporters and above, you can join us for dinner in the American Bar Restaurant where you can meet up with other Supporters and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of our restaurant before heading into the auditorium for curtain up. Places are limited so when you book your tickets, make sure to reserve your place at dinner.

During the interval, we will be serving dessert in the American Bar Restaurant for those who booked in for dinner.

After the show ends, our Supporters are invited to join us in the Sky Bar for the post show party with members of the cast and creative teams. There will be wine, thank you speeches, the chance to meet our stars and of course, even more wine. You don’t need to book, just come along and join in the fun.

Supporter activities at Opening Nights are a benefit of our Opera Circle Supporters and above. If you would like to find out more about becoming a member of our Opera Circle, give us a call at in the Development Office or speak to us at an event. We’d be more than happy to discuss all the ways you can be more involved.

If you are an Opera Circle Supporter and would like to book dinner, please contact the Development department on concierge@eno.org or 020 7845 9241.


Supporters’ Evenings

If you like the buzz and excitement of opening nights as well as delving deeper behind the scenes our Supporters’ Evenings may just be the ticket for you.

Start the evening with a guided backstage tour (you may even end up onstage!) before enjoying pre-show and interval refreshments, followed by a post-show reception with the company.

This season we are welcoming our CEO Stuart Murphy, Associate Producer Bob Holland (Associate Artistic Director), Head of Casting Michelle Williams, Chorus Manager David Dyer and Producer Katherine Wilde as some of your hosts for Supporters’ Evenings across the season. You will have ample opportunity to talk, ask questions and find out more about what we are up to.

Along with our hosts, there will also be some special guests throughout the season. Once the performance is over, company members will join for a drink and a chat.

You will have the chance to explore every angle of our productions across the series. In past seasons we visited the wigs and make up room, wardrobe and costume departments, found out more about the use of technology in shows, and have been joined by director Adena Jacobs and composer Iain Bell.

This season, every Supporters’ Evening will showcase a different aspect of our company and productions, giving you a 360° view of our work. You might know more about us than we do by the end!

Supporters’ Evenings are £30, in addition to your own choice of ticket for the evening. It includes a pre-show tour, pre-show and interval reception, post-show reception and programme.

Book now


International Trips

One thing we know about our Supporters, is how much you all love opera and ENO. We’re always trying to find ways of opening up opportunities for you to get those behind-the-scenes glimpses and finding ways for you to be more involved.

Over the last few years, we have taken groups of you around the world to experience the best of our work. In previous years, our Opera Circle Supporters have travelled to America where we have previously spent time with Anthony Roth Costanzo before we saw Akhnaten at LA Opera and attended an event where Nico Muhly and ENO favourite Iestyn Davies gave a recital before we attended Marnie at The Met in New York.

Last year we announced the very first Friends trip which you responded to with great enthusiasm. We took a group of Supporters to Paris to once more be awed by Terry Gilliam’s Benvenuto Cellini at Opéra Bastille and then enjoyed a private tour of Palais Garnier where we got to see spaces not normally open to the public.

In a few months’ time, our Opera Circle will be travelling to Vienna over the weekend of 24 – 26 May where they will be staying in the magnificent Hotel Bristol, enjoying an after-hours tour of the  Belvedere Museum and seeing Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Wiener Staatsoper.

In September, some of you will be heading to New York to see our outstanding production of Porgy and Bess at The Met. There will be a tour of a museum, drinks receptions and dinners with other Supporters and special guests.

The trips to Vienna and New York have now unfortunately sold out but don’t worry, we have one more to announce.

There is one of our productions in particular that we know you are all hoping to see back on our stage. Until that day, we are pleased to announce that we are in the early stages of planning a trip to Oslo next year for ENO Friends, and any other Supporters who wish to attend, to see our production of The Mastersingers of Nuremburg.

We will soon be sending out an expression of interest email before we start planning the content of the trip. Once we have a confirmed cost, we will contact all our Supporters to give them an update. However, if you would like to register your interest now, you can email Jenni Lau in the Memberships Team at friends@eno.org or call 020 7845 9430.