English National Opera has unveiled a new safety curtain for its London home, in honour of the opera director Jonathan Miller.
The Jonathan Miller Safety Curtain will display designs by a different artist each year, beginning with artwork by Luke Edward Hall.
The artist and designer volunteered his time to create the new curtain, which draws on Ancient Greek mythology and is inspired by ENO’s forthcoming Orpheus series. Its design features Orpheus, the poet and musician, and Apollo, the god of music and dance.
Hall said: “I believe opera and theatre should transport viewers from their ordinary everyday existences to a place of fantasy – I hope my design will help to prepare them for the adventure.”
It is the first time since the Coliseum’s 2004 renovation that ENO has replaced its safety curtain, which is brought down as a fire precaution during intervals and when the stage is not in use.
The curtain’s namesake, Miller, has directed 15 productions over 40 years for ENO.
ENO chairman Harry Brünjes said: “Jonathan Miller’s operas have become some of our best-loved productions. It seemed only right that we name the new curtain after him, in honour of his work’s continued presence on our stage.
“All at ENO would also like to extend our gratitude to Luke Edward Hall for the fantastic new artwork that he has kindly gifted to the project.”
Hall’s artwork will be displayed on the curtain for one year, after which it will feature that of a different artist.