Chief Executive Officer of English National Opera (ENO) STUART MURPHY has announced he is stepping down in 2023 after five years in post.

Murphy took over the role from CRESSIDA POLLOCK in 2018. His five-year contract comes to an end next April but he will remain in the role until September to ensure a smooth transition to his successor. 

His tenure at ENO saw him launch an initative aimed at increasing the accessibility of opera to younger audiences through offering free tickets to under 21s. He also oversaw the expansion of ENO Breathe, a breathing and wellbeing programme which aids individual’s recovery from longer-term effects of COVID-19 through singing. 

ENO Chair HARRY BRUNJES said Murphy’s impact will be felt for years to come.

“The Board and I applaud the tireless contribution he has made to the ENO and we thank him for agreeing to continue in his role beyond the length of his contract to ensure the smooth transition to a new CEO and as we continue to work with the Arts Council on the latest funding round,” Brunjes added.  

Brunjes also credited Murphy for leading the company through the pandemic.

“One important priority for me was to bring calm and stability to this historic organisation and I am pleased to be leaving a company at a time when its future has never looked more secure and exciting,” Murphy said. 

Murphy added he is confident about the future of the organisation with Artistic Director ANNILESE MISKIMMON and Music Director MARTYN BRABBINS at the helm.

His annoucement comes as ENO renews its application to be part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Programme 2023-26, which has been delayed.

On the NPO announcement, Murphy commented: “I couldn’t be prouder of our submission to the Arts Council for our next period of NPO investment and look forward to discussions with them on what the ENO can deliver for audiences and stay true to our founding purpose that opera is for everyone.”

ENO says the recruitment process for Murphy's successor will commence in due course.

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