Last Friday, Arts Council England announced that, in the course of cuts and regional redistributions, it would cut the entire budget of English National Opera from £12.8 million annually from 2023.
Alongside the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the ENO is one of the two major opera houses in London and performs its extensive repertoire in English. It is also an important training ground for young singers in the UK.
The ENO, which is based at the London Coliseum, has been recommended to look for a new location in the North, for example in Manchester, from April 2023, for which the Council is offering transitional funding for three years totalling £17 million. The ENO rejects this proposal, which would mean the end of more than 90 years of tradition in London and the de facto end for most of the more than 300 employees on and off stage.
British opera singer Bryn Terfel has launched a petition on change.org calling for these plans for cuts to be withdrawn: