English National Opera is launching a drive-in opera series, allowing audiences to watch performances from their cars.
The opera company said the plans would allow people to continue to social distance “within the safety of their own vehicles”, while enjoying a “super-sized live opera performance and the work of ENO’s award-winning forces”.
ENO Drive & Live takes place within the first three weeks of September, in the grounds of Alexandra Palace, and will feature 12 repertory performances of a 90-minute shortened version of La bohème, and a 60-minute family friendly version of The Magic Flute.
Singers and musicians will be spaced out in accordance with government guidelines, ENO said in a statement.
Expanding on the plans, ENO chief executive Stuart Murphy said the audience would be in 300 cars, and that people on motorbikes and push bikes would also be able to watch.
“Instead of clapping or shouting ‘bravo’, it might be that people flash their lights or honk their horn. As long as it’s authentic, we’re not going to force it,” Murphy told the Guardian.
“It could attract a whole new generation to opera, people who love their car, see it as an extension to themselves, as well as reassuring an audience they can turn up totally safely,” he added.
The first performance will be free for NHS and front-line workers.
ENO said Drive & Live formed part of its autumn season, with more to be announced.
It plans to roll out Drive & Live across the country and said it has already “received significant interest” from others about the format.