ENO settles over chorus

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English National Opera and Equity have come to an agreement over a new deal with the chorus that will see their contracts cut by three months in a year ands their numbers reduced.

The management appears to have come out winners in the dispute which threatened to disrupt performances at the Coliseum. Instead of contracts running through the year, including the out of season quarter, they will go from August to April, while from May to July while the company performs outside the Coliseum any work will be offered to the chorus on a first refusal basis.

The deal is expected to save the company about £600,000 a year.

“We recognise the fundamental importance of the ENO chorus in delivering world-class opera” said ENO’s CEO Cressida Pollock. “We listened to the concerns of the chorus and have reached a fair compromise that preserves the permanent ensemble, focussing on our London Coliseum season, whilst ensuring that we have the building blocks in place to increase our outside work. 

“This settlement will contribute to the wider changes in our business model, to ensure that ENO becomes a more financially resilient organisation, able to move forward on a reduced public subsidy.”

ENO is struggling to budget with a £5m a year reduction in its Arts Council subsidy, proid8tcuionhs costs also having been cut with less opulent shows. “We are now looking forward to the future, and to working together to ensure that our great organisation thrives for decades to come” said Harry Brunjes, ENO’s chairman.


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