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ENO to appoint BAME choristers and directors as part of diversity drive

Porgy and Bess by English National Opera performed at the London Coliseum in October, 2018 Porgy and Bess by English National Opera performed at the London Coliseum in October, 2018
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English National Opera has launched what it describes as a “key step forward” in making the industry more representative, with plans to hire four new choristers from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The opera company also plans to launch three new placements offering BAME directors the chance to work alongside “world-renowned” opera directors, enabling them to observe the entire process of directing an opera from start to finish.

For its 2019/20 season, the opera company will hire four new choristers, who will join the chorus for an initial nine-month contract. ENO currently has one BAME chorister.

The company will also look to audition and employ choristers from BAME backgrounds for extra chorus positions.

In addition, the ENO Director Observerships will be paid placements, offering BAME directors the chance to see the “day to day workings of a large national company”.

Chief executive Stuart Murphy said: “I am proud of ENO’s founding principle to provide opera for everyone and hope this announcement shows we continue to be committed to making this a reality in three key areas – reflecting diversity in both our performers and non-performers, and in our audiences.”

He added: “If we get this right, it will liberate new pools of talent in the UK and bring a greater and more varied stories to our stage.”

Equity head of live performance Hilary Hadley welcomed the move, and said it was important “that the world of opera in the UK also reflects the rich diversity of our population”.

“Equity believes targeted initiatives such as the ENO BAME Chorus Fellowship are an effective first step towards redressing any such imbalance,” she added.

Last year, the opera company announced a scheme giving free tickets to productions for people under the age of 18.

To apply for these roles and more, visit The Stage Jobs: thestage.co.uk/jobs

ENO takes ’seismic leap’ with scheme offering under-18s free tickets to Saturday night shows

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