Royal Opera House is left headless

Royal Opera House is left headless


norman lebrecht

May 02, 2021

Covent Garden’s chairman, the carphone billionaire David Ross, is leaving after just a few months in the seat, acording to an exclusive report on Sky News.

During his short time as chairman, Ross bought back the David Hockney portrait of David Webster which the board had previously put up for sale at auction.

The official reason for Ross’s departure is that the Government is insisting her serve another term at the National Portrait Gallery, where aggressive academics are trying to decolonise the collection.

Whatever the cause, the ROH has lost its chief benefactor and board chair for the second time in a year, following the earlier death of oil mogul Ian Taylor. He is a genuine opera enthusiast and key supporter of Nevill Holt Opera in the Midlands.

There may be trouble ahead.




  • MDR says:

    You’ve confused National Portrait Gallery, where Ross is a trustee, with Royal Museums Greenwich, where the chairmen – the similarly phone-rich Sir Dunstone – quit after the milquetoast Dowden refused to renew the tenure of the not-so-aggressive academic Dr Hoque, who just so happens to have received an MBE for asking exactly the kind of questions this Kafkaesque government would rather weren’t asked.

  • Patrick says:

    What about reporting on the new contracts for the players, who were effectively sacked, then reinstated with a huge pay cut? This has never been reported, yet it stinks. Shame on the ROH.

  • Herbie G says:

    Why the hell should anyone care about ‘aggressive academics’, let alone follow their orders? Those who can, do; those who can’t teach. Those who can’t do or teach spend their lives in the cloisters of academe, well isolated from the real world outside and funded not by voluntary donations but the misplaced largesse of our Covid-impoverished government.

    It seems that we are now being bullied and terrorised by this insignificant minority of self-important (maybe that should have been self-impotent) soi disant social engineers – poseurs who are paid for politicising everything white and for dreaming up the most nonsensical pseudo-political claptrap while the rest of us are working and paying taxes to fund their indolent lifestyle.

    Why don’t all of us whites just own up, sign a sincere apology for being white, being slavers and being racists and then let the matter drop so that we can all get on with our lives.

  • Kenneth Griffin says:

    If it is true that this individual has accepted the UK Government’s invitation to fight their culture war against facts and truth at the NPG, then the ROH is well rid of him and has dodged future potential embarrassment.

  • Barbara says:

    Who is the “her” in the third paragraph? I am confused.

  • Player says:

    Oh dear… whatever the reason for his departure (unless perhaps it is cover for an appointment that was not working AT ALL internally) this is surely bad news… I wonder if has anything to do with the latest personnel moves on Pappano succession etc?

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Oh, so the Marie Antoinette Opera House!!

    • V.Lind says:

      Anne Boleyn, surely. Or Thomas More, or (pick any of a truckload of other homegrown decaps). We do not have to go cap in hand to the French for a choppee.

  • Eusebius says:

    Los Angeles Times hired a new Executive Editor today, a black man.

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