English National Opera traces its roots back to 1931 when Lilian Baylis established the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company at the newly re-opened the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Baylis had been presenting opera concerts and theatre in London since 1898 and was passionate about providing audiences with the best theatre and opera at affordable prices, a belief that remains today at the heart of ENO. During the Second World War the Sadler’s Wells Theatre was closed and the company toured the provinces, returning to its home in June 1945 for the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, which proved to be the most important British opera since Purcell’s time. Britten remains at the heart of ENO’s repertoire and a new, sold-out production of Peter Grimes in 2009 was universally acclaimed.
English National Opera