Antonio Pappano’s letter in support of English National Opera

This appears today in the Times:

Sir, We write in support of Humphrey Burton’s letter (Dec 8) about the serious situation facing English National Opera’s chorus. ENO is first and foremost a company of musicians. Plans to reduce its chorus members’ contracts and limit its productions to eight a season threaten to destroy ENO. Decisions have been made about the future of the company without public consultation despite its public subsidy. We call upon ENO’s board to engage in a public examination of ways to protect the company and reinstate a full season of opera at the Coliseum before irreparable damage is done to this much-loved organisation, which has played such a central role in the cultural life of this country.

Dame Janet Baker; Graham Clark; Dame Anne Evans; Sir David McVicar; Sir Antonio Pappano; Sir John Tomlinson


They are so right: the ENO situation requires a public inquiry, starting with its bullying, unconstitutional and altogether inept handling by the last two chairs and chief exec of Arts Council England.


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  • And with so much to play for. Anyone who went to the Lady Macbeth or the Forza should be in no doubt that, under Wigglesworth, this company will produce some exemplary work of a world standard. The orchestra and chorus in both productions were magnificent.

  • Wholeheartedly agree with above. I have been a regular for over 50 years and musical standards, especially the chorus and orchestra, are as high as they have ever been. The failings have been 20 years of mismanagement and just when these are being addressed is not the time to curtail even further the season or company.

  • Public enquiry, bullying, mismanagement, inept? Why is the talent always right and the management wrong? This isn’t just about the chorus, it’s about managing within your budgets. Poor artistic choices have been made over the years with resulting low ticket sales, the Coli is a white elephant – too large and too old so expensive to maintain. None of this has anything to do with the ROH – there is no plan to merge the two companies just as the four London orchestras have not been merged, nor the RSC and RNT (discussed in the late 60s). The present ENO team is doing its best. Let them get on with the job..

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