English National Opera Plans to Cut 19 Staff Positions

By Francisco Salazar

The English National Opera has announced that it will cut 19 musical staff positions and put the remaining staff on part-time contracts.

In a statement, the ENO said, “Whilst the ENO remains grateful for the Arts Council’s revised support and financial investment, and remains committed to creating opera for more people nationally, as for other artistic organisations this represents a reduction in income against a backdrop of inflation, rising fixed costs and a requirement to develop work across more locations. Sadly, this means that whilst we are no longer facing mass permanent redundancies, we are having to re-evaluate our employment levels across every part of the organisation. As we start this difficult process with staff, we believe we have presented viable options that aim to ensure a sustainable future for the ENO whilst supporting our artistic and musical heart as much as possible. We will do everything possible to support our employees throughout this very challenging and stressful time and continue our conversations with them and their representative unions in good faith.”

This comes months after the Arts Council England announced that it was cutting funding from the ENO and noted that the company would have to leave London.

The new proposal was immediately rejected by the Musicians’ Union, which noted that it would fight to keep members at the London Coliseum-based opera company on full pay.

The MU organiser for orchestras Jo Laverty added, “We urge the ENO to reconsider these proposals and call upon the Government and Arts Council England to take urgent action in support of the company. Our members in the orchestra of ENO do not deserve to be treated in this way, especially given the quality and breadth of their recent work.”