Damon Albarn and Terry Gilliam back ENO opera scheme

4 October 2012, 10:26 | Updated: 18 September 2014, 14:44

Damon Albarn and Terry Gilliam voice their support for an inclusive new scheme from the English National Opera designed to get more under-44s into the opera houses.

The English National Opera's new Undress For Opera scheme has been given the full support of sometime opera composer Damon Albarn and opera/movie director Terry Gilliam. With new 'no dress code' performances scheduled for coming months.

Albarn, who admits to a "struggle with the word opera", and his opera Doctor Dee brought a new audience to opera houses that ENO artistic director James Berry wants to capitalise on: "In a sense, Undress For The Opera, this new audience initiative was really inspired by Doctor Dee and seeing a completely different audience in this magnificent theatre was so heart-warming."

Terry Gilliam, formerly a member of the legendary Monty Python troupe and director of the ENO's production of The Damnation Of Faust last year, commented: "It was an art form for the rich, the successful and the almost-dead."

In a video interview from the ENO, Gilliam outlines the scheme's intention to get people into London's Coliseum theatre. The most expensive tickets for related events are £25, the audience will be able to download show synopses and shows will had both introductory talks and after-parties.

It is hoped that the the percentage of ENO audience members under the age of 44 will die from the current 30% to 40%.