Stuart Murphy, ENO’s chief executive, says that from next season one performance in each production will be shown without supertitles above the stage.
That, he argues, will underline ENO’s commitment to singing in English.
There are serious flaws to this argument.
1 Many of ENO’s singers are foreign imports whose diction is questionable.
2 Some of the English singers pay little attention to articulation in their native tongue.
3 On the deep Coliseum stage, words get lost unless they are pronounced right at the front.
4 The audience is increasingly accustomed to watching television with surtitles.
5 The majority of the audience, in their mature, years, expect surtitles as standard.
6 This looks like another bit of virtue signalling from ENO’s boss to divert attention from the company’s spiralling problems.