ENO, our gateway to opera

By Patrick Carnegy [Times Literary Supplement, 30 December 2009]
London’s English National Opera has been in existence in one guise or another for nearly 130 years. Its story, by and large, is that of operatic life in England since the Victorian era. Jeremy Sams, witty translator for today’s ENO, once said that opera appealed to the British precisely because it was foreign and sexy. Don’t spoil the musical magic and the frocks by compelling us to pay attention to the words: let’s just join Dr Johnson and revel in the “exotic and irrational entertainment”.