Opera in the UK

An uncertain year for opera
Robert Thicknesse
I HOPE you made the most of last year’s opera highlights because 2005 looks pretty dull by comparison. The resignation of Scottish Opera’s music director, Sir Richard Armstrong, has added to the company’s woes. With only three productions in the foreseeable future, the main risk is that the audience forgets the company exists.
The vanishing audience is a spectre that haunts other companies: ENO must be wondering what became of an audience that was more like a loyal football crowd.
Various conductors are rumoured to have turned down the job of music director — which becomes vacant when Paul Daniel retires in May — while Sean Doran and John Berry are in charge. But there is plenty to look forward to, and the company did some brilliant work last year.
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