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ENO to scale back on surtitles to appease ‘distracted’ audiences

London Coliseum. Photo: Grant Smith London Coliseum. Photo: Grant Smith
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English National opera is dropping surtitles for one performance per production in its forthcoming season.

The opera company said the move had been prompted by a desire to “give audiences even more choice in the new season”, which will be announced in April.

“This confirms ENO’s commitment to singing in English, and allows those who find the use of surtitles distracting an opportunity to see an opera without their use,” chief executive Stuart Murphy said.

He added: “For audience members who prefer to use the surtitles, they will still be in use at the majority of performances.”

A spokeswoman said some audience members enjoyed surtitles, but added that some audiences did not. She said the performances that do not have subtitles would be signposted on its website and in its guide.

Last year, it emerged that English National Opera was planning to use its safety curtain as a screen for projections to advertise its forthcoming seasons.

The company submitted a proposal to Westminster City Council to repaint its safety curtain incorporating a “plain white painted area” measuring 12 metres wide by six metres high.

Exclusive: English National Opera to screen adverts on safety curtain

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