English National Opera (ENO) is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St. Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. ENO's productions are sung in English.
The company's origins were in the late 19th century, when the philanthropist Emma Cons, later assisted by her niece Lilian Baylis, presented theatrical and operatic performances at the Old Vic, for the benefit of local people. Baylis subsequently built up both the opera and the theatre companies, and later added a ballet company; these evolved into ENO, the Royal National Theatre and The Royal Ballet, respectively.
Baylis acquired and rebuilt the Sadler's Wells theatre in north London, a larger house, better suited to opera than the Old Vic. The opera company grew there into a permanent ensemble in the 1930s. During the Second World War, the theatre was closed and the company toured British towns and cities. After the war, the company returned to its home, but it continued to expand and improve. By the 1960s, a larger theatre was needed. In 1968, the company moved to the London Coliseum and adopted its present name in 1974.