Opera and ballet are important and popular artforms in England. They are rooted in our shared European cultural history and make a unique contribution to contemporary culture.
After the last investment round in 2012, the Arts Council identified the need for an analysis of its funding for large-scale opera and ballet companies. We knew the companies had been under considerable financial stress in recent years, partly because of ever-increasing pressures on public funding and also as a result of their fixed business models.
All together, in the 2012-15 funding period these seven opera and ballet companies received 22 per cent of National portfolio funding. We wanted to understand how these organisations could best be served by likely future levels of investment. We wanted to be sure that investment decisions would represent best value for public funds, in order to address the needs of the companies and to meet the expectations of audiences.
This analysis involved the seven large-scale lyric companies (the Royal Opera House (ROH), English National Opera (ENO), Welsh National Opera (WNO), Opera North (ON), English National Ballet (ENB), Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) and Northern Ballet (NB)).