Executive director of ENO resigns following departure of company’s chairman

30 January 2015, 15:18

Henriette Götz, executive director of English National Opera, has resigned from the company. The news comes just days after chairman Martyn Rose announced he was standing down.

Götz has been ENO’s executive director since last April. She will step down on 28 February. In a statement, ENO said: “The Board and Henriette’s colleagues are grateful to her for the hard work that she has shown in her time with the company. She has a great deal of passion and commitment and much to offer to the Opera world.”

Martyn Rose’s departure – announced last week – caused headlines in the classical world when a letter leaked to The Sunday Times suggested there was a rift between Rose and the company’s artistic director John Berry.

In the letter, Rose wrote: “For the very survival of ENO, Berry must leave, preferably soon.”

“Let me be clear – John is, in my mind, the problem not the solution, and no meaningful change will ever take place whilst he remains.”

Rose went on to say: “This is a man who has been at ENO for ten years and on his watch, £10 million has been lost – including a substantial amount of public money – and even this year, I am told we are on track to lose £500,000, which I wager a safe bet will be over £1 million.”

A spokesperson for the company has since said they “did not recognise” the figures mentioned in the letter. 

Acting chairman Dr Harry Brünjes told The Stage newspaper: “The unequivocal fact is that in the last eight financial years the ENO has run an unrestricted surplus of £2.4 million. Our total audience for 2013/14 was up by 11% and audience numbers for the 2014/15 season to date remain stable.”

The role of chief executive will be filled by Anthony Whitworth-Jones, former chief executive of Glyndebourne and former general director of Garsington Opera, until a new full-time executive director is appointed.

Rose departs as chairman on 15 February and his role will be filled by Brünjes, a former professional pianist and medical doctor.