Officials from the MU joined members of the orchestra of English National Opera at the Coliseum this lunchtime, in delivering over 150 letters from musicians, audiences and public figures urging ENO management to reconsider proposals to axe 19 jobs in the orchestra and make the orchestra and music staff part-time.
Speaking to assembled musicians and supporters, MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl said:
“What we need to do is to explain to management over and over again why this proposal isn’t going to work, why you can’t have an orchestra together for six months of the year and not working the other six months of the year.
“ENO is going to lose talent, and it’s not possible for you to sustain work for twelve months of the year when you’re employed for six months of the year.
“We also need to make the point about the other city that they’re not going to get the ENO. It is not the same without the orchestra and the performers. What are they going to get?
Essentially, the set designs. It’s not levelling up, it’s levelling down.
“We want to keep the pressure up with the press, we want to keep the issues alive with MPs who are very concerned, we need to keep telling this story. Thank you for coming today.”
Photograph: Jonathan Stewart