ENO official: We are committed to preserving a permanent chorus (just cheaper)

ENO official: We are committed to preserving a permanent chorus (just cheaper)


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2016

The chief executive of English National Opera, Cressida Pollock, has responded swiftly to a weekend petition calling on her board to fight plans to reduce the orchestra and chorus.

cressida pollock

Cressida writes: ‘Let me promise you one thing – we are committed to preserving a permanent chorus at ENO. ‘

But (the big But): ‘Whilst we remain committed to our permanent ensembles, we also recognise that we have to make significant cost savings in order for ENO to be a more sustainable organisation in the long-term. We are working towards a solution with the ENO chorus which would see them maintained as a permanent ensemble but with a greater degree of flexibility in their contracts, which reflects the economic reality of ENO’s situation.

‘We are looking at ways we can reduce our reliance on freelance backstage staff, in order to preserve our backstage ‘family’ and protect full time positions – as these individuals provide the backbone to our company.

‘We realise that your support is needed now, more than ever.’

Read Cressida’s full statement here.



  • Nicola Lefanu says:

    London is SUCH an expensive place to live !
    Salaries can’t be cut like this.

    • Peter says:

      Socialist! If you don’t like it, become an investment banker. All should become investment bankers, since they are the only professionals who create something tangible and sustainable. The day everybody is an investment banker will be the day mankind has solved all its problems.
      These choristers should stop whining and go with the times, losers.

      • Eddie Mars says:

        When the Musicians of The Globe Theatre were replaced with tape recordings, the management went to the players and asked them if they’d like to help make a few recordings, which would be used to oust them from their jobs.

        Oddly enough, the players refused to cooperate.

        Can’t for the life of me imagine why, eh?

  • Eddie Mars says:

    [[ We are looking at ways we can reduce our reliance on freelance backstage staff ]]

    … whilst simultaneously turning the chorus and orchestra into freelancers, as they did at Scottish Opera.

    Her nose grows longer with every Press Release.

  • Simon Evnine says:

    I gave up when I reached the frightful word “casualise”…

    Why can’t decent English be used ?

    • Peter Phillips says:

      Obscure usage (ie jargon or closed register) is a great way of masking ignorance or covert intent.

    • rita says:

      I cringe when I see or hear the word “flexible”..knowing only too well what it means….

      • Abel says:

        So it is positive to note the intention to suport existing contracts, in opposition to further casualisation (which was instigated by the former CEO).

        The Royal Opera house does not use zero-hour contracts, on principle. A freedom of information request shows that the Arts Council doesn’t either. They set a good example.