English National Opera’s accounts are ‘shockingly bad’
by Rupert Christiansen (via The Telegraph) – In my Arts Diary of 7 January, I gloomily prognosticated that in the current climate only radical measures could save English National Opera. I don’t want to gloat, but publication of the organisation’s latest annual accounts (2011-12) confirms my view.
The figures are shockingly bad: in brief, ENO has posted a deficit of £2.5 million, with audiences running at 71 per cent of capacity – 9 per cent down on the previous year. Production costs are up £1.5million on 2011, box office income down £1.2 million. Reserves are now standing at under £1 million. This looks to me as bad as any financial position previously reported in ENO”s troubled past, especially as the administration is now so pared to the bone that there is nothing left to cut.
ENO is living beyond its means and there are no Arts Council bail outs in the last-chance saloon. The present model on which it functions doesn’t work – and if everyone goes on blithely trying to pretend that it does, ENO could end up bankrupt. That is the stark truth facing the board at its next – emergency – meeting.