English National Opera Technicians Threaten Strike

Classic Arts News   English National Opera Technicians Threaten Strike
 
Technicians at the English National Opera are threatening to strike over chief executive Loretta Tomasi's announcement two weeks ago that 45 jobs, 10% of ENO's workforce, will be cut.

BBC Music Magazine reports that the union BECTU, which represents technical and support staff, has pledged support to the technicians. If the strike goes ahead, the ENO's April production of Philip Glass's Satyagraha (which comes to the Metropolitan Opera next season) will be in jeopardy.

This latest upset comes after a relatively stable period following the turbulence that ensued when chairman Martin Smith and chief executive Seán Doran "stepped down" at the end of 2005. The ENO found firmer footing under chairman Vernon Ellis, although low ticket sales and cuts in government funding have created further difficulties, according to BBC Music.

Tomasi was quoted last month in British media as stating that the staff reductions are necessary to make the company, which has faced several serious financial crisis during the past decade, "artistically and financially viable in the long term."


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