SEÁN DORAN - SOME PROJECTS
Seán commissioned 51 sculptures from Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley for a salt lake in the Australian outback. He staged the Merce Cunningham Dance Company on an Australian beach to an audience of 4000 and he invited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to be figurehead of the world's largest literature festival in Wales.
At English National Opera, he commissioned film director Anthony Minghella's opera debut, Madam Butterfly, which subsequently opened the 2006/7 New York Metropolitan Opera season, the first time in that company's history they had opened a season with another company's work.
‘The most beautiful show of the year in operatic London’
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH ON MADAM BUTTERFLY
Two of Seán's final inspirations at ENO were to pair Deborah Warner & Ian Bostridge in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice and to invite Improbable Theatre to make their opera debut with the composer Philip Glass (Satyagraha 2007). Death in Venice became the second most popular Britten production in ENO's history. Satyagraha is the most popular contemporary work in ENO's history, selling over 17,000 tickets. Both productions were outstanding artistic and critical successes.
The artists of Seán's programming at ENO were awarded all eight nominations at the 2006 Olivier Awards, winning both opera category awards.
In more popular mode, Seán presented Bono of U2 in his first live on stage Conversation (with The Guardian's Robin Denselow in 1995) and opened the literature component of his inaugural Belfast Festival with Australian icons Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue (1997).
It was Seán's idea to grass London's Trafalgar Square, Glyndebourne-style, in preparation for its first ever opera staging in 2004. However, many will remember Seán's most daring and successful audience development idea of all: taking English National Opera to the Glastonbury Festival in June 2004 when over 50,000 popular music fans responded with glee to Act 3 of Richard Wagner's opera The Valkyrie.