CEO Sešn Doran Leaves English National Opera

Classic Arts News   CEO Sešn Doran Leaves English National Opera
Sešn Doran, the chief executive officer and artistic director of the English National Opera since 2003, has left the company, ENO announced today.

Executive director Loretta Tomasi becomes chief executive; director of opera programming John Berry has taken over as artistic director. Doran will act as a consultant for the remainder of the season.

"While I am sad to be leaving, I am proud of what I have achieved," Doran said in a statement. "I took on this role with a number of big challenges for change that would secure the future of the organization and these have been met. I have greatly enjoyed my time at ENO and leave it in a much stronger position than when I joined."

When Doran arrived, the ENO was reeling from financial problems, a string of controversial new productions, and the forced resignation of general director Nicholas Payne. The hiring of the relatively inexperienced Doran, who had previously directed Australia's Perth Festival, was seen as a sign that more experienced administrators were not interested in working for the company or for its powerful chairman, Martin Smith.

The turmoil at the company continued after Doran's arrival: when Paul Daniels departed last season, he publicly criticized Doran and Smith. Artistically, the company seemed to be on the upswing as 2005-06, the first full season planned by Doran, began. The staged premiere of Gerald Barry's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant got mixed reviews; more recently, film director Anthony Mingella's staging of Madama Butterfly was a genuine hit.

"The fact that ENO is enjoying a renaissance, with a very successful season artistically and breaking box office records, owes much to the talent of Sešn," Smith said. "He brought fresh thinking and a new artistic energy."

"In Loretta and John we have two highly-respected professionals with long and successful track records at ENO and elsewhere," he added. "The board is confident that the ENO success story will continue to grow and develop in their expert hands in the seasons to come."

Before joining ENO as executive director in 2003, Tomasi was an executive at Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatres. Berry, a former freelance casting consultant, joined ENO in 1995 as casting director and become director of opera programming in 2003.

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