ENO Drive and Live
TECHNICAL DELIVERY OF THE WORLD’S FIRST FULLY STAGED DRIVE-IN OPERA
The Covid-19 pandemic had a catastrophic impact on the live arts sector, bringing a halt to operatic productions almost overnight and the doors closed on cultural venues. Forward-thinking English National Opera wanted to bring the joy of live opera back to the public after months of absence and looked to deliver a Covid-secure production of Puccini’s La Bohème through the world’s first fully-staged drive-in opera.
ADI helped ENO deliver this unique drive-in experience by taking on the technical production management, incorporating structures, staging, LED screens, cameras, OB, lighting and power, transforming the car park of Alexandra Palace into a fully-featured outdoor theatre.
Modular LED Screens
Alexandra Palace, UK
World-first for Opera
Given this was ENO’s first foray into large-scale outdoor productions they commissioned ADI to apply their expertise and turn a creative vision into reality. It was essential to retain the exceptional production values created at the London Coliseum and reimagine them for a ‘drive-in’ audience.
ADI worked closely with the ENO team to design and build a raised stage solution with full theatre lighting rig. Importantly, this also featured high resolution 4.6mm 45sqm LED screens on the wings to offer image magnification and coverage for up to 100 vehicles.
Unique Production Project
The 200 sqm stage was designed with integrated ramps to allow multiple vehicles – including vintage VW campervans and convertibles – to drive on and off stage as part of the performance, while a double-storey structure was incorporated upstage to host the award-winning 40-person ENO orchestra.
Our solution also encapsulated cameras and outside broadcast teams to capture footage for live broadcast to the audience and for use in Sky Arts programming.
Attendees were able to enjoy the
live production from the comfort of their own vehicle, Uber box or bike, with performances taking place both on stage and on the ground in order to put opera fans at the heart of the action, but from a safe distance
The Covid-secure production was met with critical acclaim by the press and wider industry, with the 16 live performances hosting many sell-out audiences. ENO Drive and Live was also broadcast live on Sky Arts, and has since won a host of industry awards including a BAFTA