Industry News

English National Opera offers update following DCMS meeting

Featured image credit: Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

The English National Opera (ENO) has offered an update following its meeting with the DCMS Select Committee surrounding its funding cuts. 

Last month, Arts Council England (ACE) announced that the ENO would have its £12.6m ($15.5m/€14.6m) annual funding cut, with a possibility of relocating. Instead, the organisation will receive £17m over three years. 

The move was to try and concentrate funding in areas outside of London. 

As the ENO continues its attempts to reverse the decision, the organisation met with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In a statement, ENO said: “There is much to be welcomed in what Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said at today’s DCMS Select Committee. He continued to describe the ENO as excellent, he acknowledged that a new business model takes time, and he expressed a commitment to a large-scale ENO, with a substantial London base, long-term.”

The statement added that while it shares the desire to bring opera to the entire country, the English National Opera required a realistic timeframe and adequate funding. 

“We remain disappointed that Darren Henley still offered no clarity around the process which led to the ENO having our NPO status removed. To restore public trust in ACE. at home and internationally, and to enable the 250 or so new organisations who are developing their new relationships with ACE to have faith in their own future application processes. clarity around this decision-making process is crucial,” said the statement.

“The allocating of public funds must be done transparently, fairly and following a logical process. It must also be done within a strategy informed by data and audience insight, and we remain deeply concerned that ACE do not have this in place for opera.

“This continues to ring alarm bells across the country, across other organisations, among audiences, and across all political parties. We look forward to ongoing discussions with ACE to establish a timeline and budget for a new model that gives this incredible company the best chance of long-term, sustainable success, serving audiences both in and out of London in an impactful manner.”