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Sky Arts’ Phil Edgar-Jones joins ENO’s ‘refreshed’ board

Philip Edgar Jones, Sky Arts Sky Arts director Phil Edgar-Jones
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Sky Arts director Phil Edgar-Jones has been appointed one of three new trustees at English National Opera, as part of a shake-up of its governing board.

The company’s chair, Harry Brunjes, said the “refreshed” board would help make the company “more resilient and operate on a reduced public subsidy”.

Edgar-Jones will be joined on the board by Patti White, president of independent not-for-profit American Friends of ENO, which organises fundraising events for the opera company.

The third new trustee is investor Patty Dimond, who co-authored Driven to the Brink: Why Corporate Governance, Board Leadership and Culture Matter.

The three will immediately replace Glyn Barker, David Buchler and David Harrell, who have all stepped down from their trustee roles.

Elsewhere, existing trustee Nicholas Allan has been made ENO’s deputy chair. Allan is also chair of the organisation’s finance committee.

Catherine May, a board member since 2011, has been given the new position of senior independent director.

Discussing the changes, Brunjes said: “I am pleased that we have significantly refreshed the ENO board of trustees over the past year to rise to the challenge of implementing a new business model, which will enable the company to be more resilient and operate on a reduced public subsidy.”

“I look forward to working closely with all three new trustees as we move forward with these plans,” he added.

Brunjes said White would help ENO build “new relationships with donors” while Edgar-Jones would be put “to good use” on the company’s artistic committee.

Responding to his appointment, Edgar-Jones said he believed strongly that the arts should be brought to an increasingly wider audience.

He added that he hoped to “help ENO maintain its amazing record of opening up opera to new people”.

In an interview with The Stage earlier this month, ENO artistic director Daniel Kramer told The Stage that the company’s detractors needed to “back off” and “stop coming for our building”.

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