Daniel Kramer is to step down as artistic director of English National Opera after three years.
He took up the post in August 2016, and said he was stepping down to focus on directing “more opera and theatre full-time”.
Kramer steps down at the end of July but will continue to work with ENO until the end of 2019, as artistic consultant, to oversee the Orpheus series of four operas he recently announced.
Kramer said: “I am proud to leave ENO after a season that has broken box office records, innovated and challenged, while delivering commercial success. We have recruited thousands of new, diverse and young audience members, and over-achieved our year box office target, delivering on our promise to provide ‘opera for all’ and reflect the diversity of our culture.”
He added: “Stepping back will allow me to focus full-time on my 2019/20 freelance directing commitments of La Boheme and Nixon in China in Europe, and War Requiem in Taiwan. Never has an experience been more fruitful, more demanding, nor more clarifying to my beliefs as an artist. I thank everyone who crossed my path at ENO.”
Chief executive Stuart Murphy praised Kramer’s “continual desire to push for distinctive creative”, adding: “His energy, sense of humour and passion for bringing new stories to life and nurturing new talent has been completely contagious.”
During Kramer’s tenure, ENO has staged work including Turn of the Screw at Regent’s Park, Porgy and Bess, The Merry Widow and the recent world premiere of Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel.
ENO chair Harry Brunjes said: “[Kramer’s] focus on creative artistic output is the underlying reason why our most recent season was both thought provoking and entertaining, as well as commercially successful.”
In order to ensure a “seamless transition” for the rest of the 2019/20 season, ENO said Bob Holland in his role as associate artistic director would work with music director Martyn Brabbins as well as with the rest of the artistic team to “deliver plans beyond those that ENO are committed to already”.
Kramer replaced John Berry, and his appointment came as Mark Wigglesworth announced his decision to leave as music director after less than a year in the post.
Last year, Murphy joined as chief executive, replacing Cressida Pollock.