This year marks the 50th year that the English National Opera has been in residence at the London Coliseum. Unlike most operas which are performed in Italian, performances at The English National Opera are in English to ensure they are accessible to everyone.
Our evening began with a behind-the-scenes tour of the London Coliseum, which provided us with a glimpse of what happens backstage to bring the magic of the performances to life on stage. Being both in the orchestra pit and behind the stage gave me a newfound sense of appreciation for the wealth of people it takes to create a seamless production.
After the tour was complete, we headed to the dining room at the American Bar to try the new spring menu. The petite dining room reminded me a bit of Swiss chalet thanks to its abundance of wooden panelling. Diners can choose from either two courses (£20) or three courses (£25). Starters included: spiced parsnip, coconut and apple soup and toasted pine nuts; baked candied beetroot and heritage carrots with a mango chutney dressing; smoked salmon and Cornish crab parcel, crème fraiche, caviar, orange reduction; seared scallops, butternut squash puree and chorizo, parmesan and rocket oil.
Mains included: Roast chicken breast, raz el hanout couscous, aubergine caviar, smoked yoghurt, pistachio and pomegranate dressing; seared hake fillet, shrimp and mussels, pickled shallots, purple sprouting broccoli; miso roasted sea bream, bok choy, mange tout and enoki mushroom broth; fillet of beef, celeriac puree, cavalo nero, king oyster, red wine and truffle jus; cannellini bean stew, roasted courgette and butternut squash, parsley oil.
All the dishes we tried (the parsnip soup, crab parcels, seared hake and the roast chicken) were delicious and beautifully presented.
La Traviata is a tragic love story about a fallen woman, Violetta, a high-class Parisian prostitute (played by Irish soprano Claudia Boyle), who falls in love a young man named Alfredo (played by tenor Lukhanyo Moyake) who attended one of her lavish parties.
It's easy to see why this classic opera has been loved for many years. We liked that the performance was in English, which makes it easier to follow - especially for those who are not familiar with the story.
St Martin’s Lane
For a full list of upcoming performances at the English National Opera, visit https://www.eno.org.
*With the exception of the images from Catherine Ashmore all other images copyright of Ashley Miln