The Coliseum's 2,359-seat auditorium, built as a grand music hall in 1904 by the renowned architect Frank Matcham, was restored to its former glory in 2004 as part of an £80 million restoration. Residents English National Opera (ENO) and English National Ballet perform under artistic director John Berry and the programme veers from populist to highbrow. Unlike at the Royal Opera House, all works here are performed in English.
|Venue name:||London Coliseum||Contact:|
St Martin's Lane
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 10am–6pm , or later when a show is on|
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
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English National Opera: Salome
Australian director Adena Jacobs is making her ENO debut with a new production of Strauss's scandalous opera. She's earned a reputation for subversive, feminist works like 'The Howling Girls' that break with operatic tradition and push the human voice...Classical and opera Friday September 28 2018 - Tuesday October 23 2018
English National Opera: Porgy and Bess
George and Ira Gershwin's jazz opera 'Porgy and Bess' is full of moody, swoony music, including unforgettable numbers like 'Summertime'. Since its first staging in 1937, it's been controversial: some condemned it for reinforcing African-American stereotypes...Classical and opera Thursday October 11 2018 - Saturday November 17 2018
English National Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor
David Alden's 2010 production of 'Lucia di Lammermoor' landed rave reviews for its atmospheric, gothic-hued Victorian setting, which sets Donizetti's 19th century opera in a series of claustrophobic interiors. Now it's back at the ENO. It's a haunting...Classical and opera Thursday October 25 2018 - Wednesday December 5 2018
Benjamin Britten's emotive choral masterpiece is being revived at ENO to mark the centenary of the end of WWI. 'War Requiem' weaves together Wildred Owen's scabrous anti-war poetry with the Latin words of the Requiem mass, set to music that's soaked in...Classical and opera Friday November 16 2018 - Friday December 7 2018
Jonathan Miller's 2009 stylish staging of Puccini's opera is back at the ENO to celebrate Miller's 40 years in the business. He updates the story to 1930s Paris, where its story of young bohemian love blighted by sudden tragedy unfolds on sets inspired...Classical and opera Monday November 26 2018 - Friday February 22 2019
This review is from 2016. 'Akhnaten' returns to ENO in February 2019. In Pharaohic terms, 17 years is but a blink of a kohl-lined eye, but Akhnaten (hubby of Nefertiti, daddy of Tutankhamun) ensured a kind of immortality during his short reign by doing...Classical and opera Monday February 11 2019 - Thursday March 7 2019
English National Opera: The Merry Widow
Franz Lehár‘s winsome comic opera follows a rich and glamorous young widow as she flirts with a notorious womaniser. This new production is directed by Max Webster, who's better known for theatre productions like the Old Vic's sumptuous 'Fanny and Alexander',...Classical and opera Friday March 1 2019 - Saturday April 13 2019
English National Opera: The Magic Flute
Avant-garde theatre director Simon McBurney's take on Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' astonished audiences with its realistic magic effects and rich, otherworldly atmosphere. Now it's back at the ENO for a fresh revival. It follows Prince Tamino and his birdcatcher...Classical and opera Thursday March 14 2019 - Thursday April 11 2019
Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel
London's most notorious murderer is stalking the stage of the Coliseum in this newly commissioned opera. But hopefully this take is a bit more sensitive than some of the more ghoulish Ripper yarns out there. Emma Jenkins' libretto puts all the focus on...Classical and opera Saturday March 30 2019 - Friday April 12 2019
On Your Feet!
Occupying what seems to now be a regular summer musical theatre slot at the London Coliseum – inaugurated by last year's by Meat Loaf odyssey ‘Bat Out of Hell’ – ‘On Your Feet!’ is a biographical jukebox musical tracing the life and times of Gloria and...Musicals Friday June 14 2019 - Saturday August 31 2019
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4.7 / 5
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I was recently desperate to see Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard but, being a bit strapped for cash, I didn’t fancy blowing £100+ on a ticket. Enter the attractive £12.50 (+£1 fee) price I found available on the ENO website. “Restricted viewing” it said. “Restricted Leg Room” it said. I was fully prepared for this, but even then I was shocked at the seat I was given. I was on a curve so you could barely move one knee, thankfully the other could be directed in a way that gave it a little more room. The view was fine, amazing in fact for the price. But I’m seriously concerned for anyone other than a small child taking that seat in future. Please avoid, unless you have no other choice or happen to be a contortionist.
Not only is this one of the most stunning, buildings in London, swimming in a sea of timeless theatre wonder, it is also home to the English Natioanl Ballet. If you don't know much about Ballet, this company is a must see, seriously, get on down there now, tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, you can't go wrong!
Review of Eifman’s Ballet – “Anna Karenina”
Last Saturday, on the 19th of April 2014 I visited the London Coliseum to see a Russian Modern Ballet from St. Petersburg, “Anna Karenina”, created by Boris Eifman.
The hosting theatre – the London Coliseum, is full of that charming Art Nouveau atmosphere making much smoother this Time Passage from the Present to the 19th century tragic Russian story, created by Leo Tolstoy.
The ballet is based on the famous novel, “Anna Karenina”, and predominately concentrates on the love triangle between Anna, her conservative husband Karenin and the dashing Vronsky. It opens up in a burst of psychological energy making an indelible impression upon its viewers.
Every twisted and extremely expressive movement of Anna Karenina’s body leads the viewer from the peak of her love passion to the gradual degradation of her inner world, crushed by the same passion. Lovers’ souls and bodies are entwined in incredible harmony. The building up of their passion is expressed through the light and colors. Black, golden-grey and creamy white colors dominate the ballet’s pallet helping to communicatethe emotional mood of heroes together with the dark and the light sides of Anna’s soul.
Two beds: Anna’s marital couch and her lover’s “retreat” act as “supportive actors”, witnessing the development of the tragedy.
Anna and her husband’s acting is saturated with poses of rejection, prayers, grief, sorrows and anger. At the same time Anna and Vronsky’s bodies are entwined like branches of trees in complicated and amazingly smooth transformational poses. Lovers are in white, reminiscent of love doves. Anna’s silky night dress makes the gravity disappear under the ballerina’s feet, leaving her entirely in the power of her lover, whilst her black, mourning outfit pulls her to this “sinful” earth. Every gesture, turn or movement of the dancers is full of meaning. Their suppleness and flexibility are tested to the limit of a human body’s capability.
Condemning society, Anna’s husband, together with the male group of dancers, smeared in fuel oil and dirt represent the churning and rattling wheels of trains, , even her little son, all are dressed in black, mourning Anna’s destroyed inner world, anticipating her madness and sacrifice.
All this highly charged emotional performance is well accentuated by the minimum use of light, mostly spotlights combined with the ever moving music of Tchaikovsky.
This classical drama goes so well with the innovative, creative and very talented modern choreography of Eifman. It slowly reveals itself against the background of the romantic surroundings and the luxurious vintage interior of the London Coliseum, leaving the audience with an absolutely unforgettable experience. By Nadine Platt