Artists rush to sign Save ENO petition

Artists rush to sign Save ENO petition


norman lebrecht

February 07, 2016

Some of the best-known names in British opera have joined a petition, launched last night, to save English National Opera from death by 1,000 cuts.

UPDATE: ENO’s response here.

Among the comments:

Susan Bullock: Wake up ENO Board before it is too late and fight for the company you are supposed to represent.

Anne Evans: Why are there now no longer any artistic people with clout on the board?

Sarah Connolly: I’m signing because you cannot rip the heart out of an already wounded company and expect it to somehow provide successful productions where everyone knows what to do. You can’t ask department heads to give orders to strangers or vice versa. Cressida you have to stop this splintering now and focus on cohesiveness, clever production planning, persuading some Arts Council members, who seem reluctant, to help ENO.



Sir David McVicar: London is one of the world’s biggest cities. It needs more than one full-time opera house.

Stuart Skelton: I do not believe you make the audience more engaged with ENO and its productions by reducing the chorus contracts.

Nicholas Braithwaite: Any decent club side will beat a Rest of the World team. Excellence is not achieved by hiring a group of talented people and throwing them together, it is built up by years of working together to develop that sixth sense relationship between all the team members that makes for truly significant performance.

Steven Isserlis, cellist: ENO is as essential a component of British life as an opposition party in parliament!

Gerard McBurney: There are two reasons to sign this petition: one, to preserve a great cultural force in the shape of this mighty chorus; second, to oppose by every means the dismantling of the institutions of culture in our country by barbarians and functionaries.

Michel Var der Aa, Dutch composer: By crippling this company you’ll force it to play safe. And this is a very bad thing. We already have enough opera houses in the world playing safe.

Jane Eaglen: ENO changed my life.

Sir Peter Jonas:  ENO’s values of adventure, integrity and accessibility are too valuable for society or the present weak board or an Arts Council with its own agenda to throw away.

Add your voice now. Sign here.



  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Jenny Lee must be spinning in her grave! The Arts Council is supposed to help and support and indeed protect the arts from Philistines.