Best news for ENO: Bazza’s gone

Best news for ENO: Bazza’s gone


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2016

The Government let it be known today that Peter Bazalgette will step down next year after just one term as chair of Arts Council England. Having secured the job through personal connections with the former Hulture (now Health) Secretary Jeremy Qant, Bazza will be neither moped nor missed. He will leave next January.

A glass of Lidl bubbly might be raised at English National Opera, where the present financial crisis began under his chairmanship and which he abandoned for a better job as soon as he could. Although recusing himself from ACE discussions about punitive measures against ENO, Bazza helped stoke hostility towards the company he jettisoned.

Before joining arts boards, Bazza was the man who brought Big Brother to British screens, lowering the public tone more effectively than anyone bar Rupert Murdoch.

Bye, Bazza. It’s been bad, all bad. And a bad example for public service. Go now, while people are still saying nice things.




  • Mark Winn says:

    Good riddance!

  • Simon says:

    Having secured standstill funding for the Arts Council at a time of unprecedented public sector cuts Peter Bazalgette has been hugely successful in this role. The sector needs more powerful advocates like him. He’ll be missed.

  • Abel says:

    It’s too hopeful to assume people ‘recuse’ themselves and that’s the end if it. All you need to do is set up an ‘out-of-office’ meeting and still influence decision-making.

    Zixek made this clear in his last talk at Birkbeck. An indissoluble, perhaps necessaty, belief in democratic institutions makes it hard to believe they are subverted all the time.

  • Jimbo says:

    “lowering the public tone more effectively than anyone bar Rupert Murdoch.”

    Sky Arts is the home of ENO television broadcasts.

  • Peter Phillips says:

    “lowering the public tone more effectively than anyone bar Rupert Murdoch.” Would that be the same Rupert Murdoch who keeps the Times Literary Supplement going? Not sure who else would do it if he didn’t.

  • Abel says:

    A small moment of contradiction in the empire of a man with a little too much poltical influence, upon the public as well as no. 10?