The new issue of Opera magazine has a rather good editorial on English National Opera and its never-ending woes.
Among other points it singles out chief executive Stuart) Murphy as ‘an inveterate attention-seeker, constantly popping up in gullible newspapers with good-news stories … Most of his announcements have been couched in pure PR-speak, but even his sound bites cannot disguise the fact that this state-subsidized opera company is sub-letting to a commercial firm peddling bland musicals. And let’s not dwell on his attempts at courting so-called celebrities.’
However when it comes to biting the bullet, Opera’s editor barely has a nibble: ‘There are some on the board who ought to be standing up for the art form, notably the operatically experienced Anthony Whitworth-Jones and Louise Jeffreys. But the latter is said to be eyeing up the deputy chairmanship, and everyone seems happy taking dictation from Arts Council England’s Simon ‘Relevance Is The New Litmus Test’ Mellor.’
This is not a good time to be missing the point and this editorial falls well short.
Let Slipped Disc reiterate what we have argued before: The board must go. One disastrous appointment after another has to be laid at the door of those who took the hiring decisions, namely the board. The Arts Council must ask for the board’s resignation. The company should be put into special measures until a fresh set of faces is installed around the board table.