The English National Opera (ENO) is set to recruit five new string players from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, the London-based company has announced.
The move is “a positive effort to ensure our orchestra more fairly reflects our society, and to create specific opportunities for those who are currently under-represented both in London and nationally,” the ENO said in a statement.
The five musicians selected for the ENO Orchestra Fellowship for BAME String Players will join the ENO Orchestra from the start of the 2020-21 season on a fixed-term contract for 12 months. The company is looking for two violinists, a viola, cello and double bass. Applications are open now and close on 31 March at 10am.
The successful candidates will play and provide their own instrument, be an experienced musician with a sound knowledge of the operatic repertoire and have a calm, confident and professional manner. In a typical week, the orchestra works up to eight sessions on varying operatic repertoire, as well as some other classical repertoire.
Martyn Brabbins, ENO’s music director, commented: “Here at ENO we are committed to contributing to the development of a more diverse classical music industry. We strongly believe by introducing the ENO Orchestra Fellowship for BAME String Players we will make an important and much needed difference to the opera industry, and further our belief that opera should be open to everybody.”
The fellowship is the second phase in ENO’s plan to achieve greater diversity within the opera industry and classical music. Last year the company recruited four new Chorus Fellows from BAME backgrounds. Isabelle Peters, Julia Daramy-Williams, Satriya Krisna and James Liu joined ENO in August and were on stage as part of the 2019-20 season.
Additionally, ENO launched four annual ENO Director Observerships, offering emerging BAME directors the opportunity to work alongside world-renowned opera directors, observing the entire process of directing an opera from start to finish. Abdul Shayek, Femi Fagunwa, Ashen Gupta and Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster observed Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach, 1858), Rusalka (Dvořák, 1901), Carmen (Bizet, 1875) and The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart, 1786) respectively. This scheme will continue into the 2020-21 season.
Isabelle Peters, Julia Daramy-Williams, Satriya Krisna and James Liu will be joined by five new musicians as part of the ENO Orchestra Fellowship.