ENO box office takings rocket by 32% but donations fall

Cressida Pollock ENO chief executive Cressida Pollock
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English National Opera’s box office takings increased by 32% to £11.4 million in 2015/16, driven in part by the success of Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel.

According to its box office receipts, the £11.4 million in its current report was up from £8.6 million in the previous year.

Its total income was £40.3 million, compared with £38.2 million the previous year.

However, money from donations and sponsorship tumbled, from £3.6 million in 2015 to £2.7 million in the year to March 2016.

In total, it received £16.4 million from Arts Council England, down from £17.7 million the year before.

According to its report, it staged 13 productions in 2015/16, nine of which were new.

More than 1.3 million people saw or listened to an ENO production, including 237,483 at its home at the Coliseum in London. The majority – 686,000 – listened to productions on BBC Radio 3.

Introducing the report, chief executive Cressida Pollock said musicals presented “an opportunity to build new audiences of opera”.

“The success of this has been seen already with return bookers from Sweeney Todd and Sunset Boulevard. The additional income raised from our musical theatre partnerships is invested straight back into our work, allowing us to programme more opera in the future,” she said.

Pollock also said ENO had no “intention of leaving the Coliseum”.

“It is our home. Far from reducing the quality and quantity of our work, in three years time ENO will be producing more opera than it currently does as well as supporting both our audiences and our artists in a range of other ways,” she said.