ENO is currently presenting Verdi’s La Traviata
The English National Opera (ENO) has been dropped from the Arts Council’s national portfolio of organisations for 2015-18 and placed “under special funding arrangements”.
Arts Council England said the ENO must now improve its business model or face funding cuts.
It said it would review the ENO’s finances over the next two years and “set rigorous milestones” for progress.
ENO’s chairman and executive director both recently stepped down.
Martyn Rose’s departure was announced in January, with Henriette Gotz resigning a few days later.
Althea Efunshile, acting chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “No one is doubting that ENO is capable of extraordinary artistic work but we have serious concerns about their governance and business model and we expect them to improve or they could face the removal of our funding.”
Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd musical will be staged at the Coliseum next month
Last year the organisation had its annual funding cut by 29% as part of a shake-up of how the Arts Council distributes its money.
The ENO is transitioning to more commercial programming that will see it stage musical theatre productions, among them Sweeney Todd with Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson.
Analysis: Will Gompertz, Arts editor
The Arts Council’s decision to eject the English National Opera from the National Portfolio is a big deal. It’s way beyond the naughty corner, and to extend the school analogy, it has been put in to special measures.
I can’t think of another instance where there has been such a dramatic move made that imperils one of Britain’s major arts institutions.
The problem, as I understand it, is the ambitions of the artistic director are not aligned to what Arts Council England believes is achievable with their budget.
Source:: BBC Entertainment