The Guardian’s Mark Brown has spotted that the Morgan Stanley banker Huw van Steenis, recently recruited onto the board of English National Opera, is married to Camilla Cavendish, head of David Cameron’s policy unit at No. 10.
That’s promising in all sorts of ways. ENO has long been seeking to get a political big-hitter on board. Martyn Rose, who resigned as chairman a year ago, was meant to be a man with the right sort of friends but he didn’t last long, or bring any friends on board. An approach to Michael Portillo signally failed.
But a board member married to a Downing St insider could make all the difference, even if (as must be assumed) the couple never discuss their work at home.
The link allows ENO an emergency red telephone for when the Arts Council pulls the plug and – even if the imaginary phone never has to be used – it makes the ACE think three times before further pursuing its long-running vendetta.
It’s a tiny glimmer of hope in a very gloomy situation. Orchestra and chorus cutbacks now loom large.
Read Brown’s article here.