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ENO hires former Sky boss Stuart Murphy as new chief executive

Stuart Murphy replaces Cressida Pollock as chief executive of ENO.
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Stuart Murphy, former director of Sky Entertainment Channels, has been named chief executive of English National Opera.

He replaces Cressida Pollock, who announced last year she would be stepping down.

At Sky, Murphy was responsible for channels including Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Arts. In his post, he spearheaded Sky’s increase in investment in original productions, tripling the budget during his tenure.

Murphy joins artistic director Daniel Kramer and music director Martyn Brabbins on ENO’s leadership team.

He said he had wanted to pursue his passion for classical music and opera in a professional capacity for a long time and added: “So it is a privilege to lead an organisation that is so committed to world-class artistic, musical and technical excellence.”

He said he would be personally committed to “ensuring that ENO continues to develop new audiences, new partnerships and on new platforms in order to ensure that the company remains as thrilling and vital now as it was when it was first founded”.

ENO chair Harry Brunjes said he had been “thrilled” by the calibre of the candidates who applied for the job, and and added that Murphy’s history of “enabling great creativity alongside his commercial acumen” would complement “ENO’s artistic and musical excellence”.

“We were impressed by the significant growth in both Sky’s audience and output under Stuart’s direction, and by his proven ability to unite and motivate his teams through a clear and inspiring vision. Under the leadership of Cressida Pollock, and through the hard work of every single member of the company, ENO has regained its financial stability and position in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. I look forward to seeing the company continue to prosper and grow with Stuart at the helm,” he said.

Murphy is a former controller of BBC3, where he commissioned shows including Gavin and Stacey and Flashmob the Opera, a live opera from Paddington Station in October 2004.

He joined Sky in 2009 to run family channel Sky 1 before he launched and ran Sky Atlantic, bringing shows such as Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Fortitude to UK screens.

In 2013 he was named director of Sky Entertainment Channels, but stepped down in 2015. He joins ENO on April 3.

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