- Starting Out
ENO Response is a training scheme for aspiring journalists and opera critics, run in partnership by the ENO and The Critics’ Circle, across the ENO’s 2023/24 opera season at the London Coliseum.
ENO Response offers people with an ambition to be writers the opportunity to review world-class opera while receiving advice and feedback from industry mentors to help them develop and hone their craft.
Who We’re Looking For
This season, we are seeking 8-10 committed writers who wish to develop their critical skills. We’re actively encouraging applications from those who are underrepresented in opera and the arts industry.
The aim of the ENO Response scheme is to increase the range of voices and perspectives that contribute to opera’s national conversation, ensuring the audience gateway into opera is as wide as possible. Applicants from across the UK are encouraged to apply, and reasonable travel expenses to and from reviewed performances will be reimbursed.
While we are looking for the widest range of people, some things are highly desirable; a strong interest in music, opera and/or theatre, an ability to communicate confidently through writing and an interest in developing a critical voice. While knowledge of opera isn’t essential, a desire and commitment to learn about it is.
How Will It Work?
Each participant will be provided with one free ticket to each of the ENO’s nine operas in the upcoming 2023/24 Season which opens mid-September 2023 and closes mid-March 2024. They will meet and network with fellow ENO Response participants and journalists at the opening nights.
After attending the opening night of an opera, participants will have 48 hours to submit a review. Each participant will be partnered with mentors from The Critics’ Circle to receive tailored feedback on their writing across the season. It will be up to the participant and their mentor to schedule an hour-long Zoom (or similar) mentoring session after each review has been submitted, to receive feedback on their writing and discuss the opera.
The participants and mentors will have two weeks to conduct their mentoring session in which the mentor may suggest edits to the participants’ reviews. Once this session has taken place, the participants will send their updated review back to the ENO where it will be published on the ENO website. All reviews will be published unedited by the ENO. The ENO won’t have – and has never had – any say in the content of the reviews.
Alongside the mentoring sessions, participants will have the chance to take part in group masterclasses led by opera creatives, editors and critics in the industry. These sessions are a chance for the participants to gain a broader understanding of how an opera reaches the stage, the journalism industry, and the skills needed to write critically. All mentoring and broader group sessions will be conducted online.
At the end of the scheme, the participants will have filed nine reviews within the deadlines, and these will be presented on the ENO website. This is a unique opportunity for participants to build a portfolio of work.
How To Apply
To find out more, read reviews from previous applicants, and submit your application, head to the link below. Applications close on Sunday, August 13, at 11.59pm.