The ENO has struck a deal with Equity whereby the ENO Chorus will be employed on nine-month contracts August to April inclusive. It's not an ideal solution for many obvious reasons - how are the chorus members going to afford living in London without incomes? In theory, they will have first right of refusal should the ENO create other work during the summer, butt hat's not guaranteed. Still, what choice do either the ENO or Equity have? The cuts are happening not because the ENO board wants them but because the company's budget was slashed by the Arts Council England, for reasons still not entirely transparent. Cuts are apparently being made in executive salaries, and management positions aren't being filled. The problem doesn't lie with Cressida Pollock, or with the Board of the ENO, but with the punitive loss of funding. Current arts policy in this country simply does not recognize the importance of the arts in the economy or how the ENO is integrated into the system.
Will the ENO die a Death of 1000 Cuts? Are the cuts to the Chorus just part of a wider strategy? Maybe some would prefer micro mini companies and semi-amateur performance, sharing the goodies round rather than concentrating them where they're most effective. Please read my articles:
|The ENO Chorus and the Death of 1000 Cuts
The Case for a Concert Hall in London - Wider Perspectives