English National Opera has appointed Martyn Rose, entrepreneur and co-founder and chair of the Big Society Network, as its chairman. He replaces the newly appointed Arts Council chair Peter Bazalgette and will take up the role on 1 May.
Rose joins the senior management team including chief executive Loretta Tomasi and artistic director John Berry.
Tomasi said of the appointment: ‘We are delighted that Martyn is joining us as our chairman. His passion for ENO’s work, its creativity and international artistic standing, combined with his impressive leadership record and commercial success, will bring the skills, enthusiasm and drive required to this important role.’
Rose said he wanted ENO to ‘continue as a standard-bearer for excellence within the arts world’.
‘I hope my enthusiasm and commercial experience within the business and arts world will complement the outstanding artistic achievements of this committed, hard-working and passionate organisation and help further enhance its outstanding reputation and success in the UK and internationally.’
John Berry called the appointment ‘a coup … we look forward to benefiting from his wealth of business experience to strengthen and grow the company’.
Rose was co-founder of soft drink firm Macaw, which he sold in 2005 for £75m, and is chair of pension administrator Dentons. Stocks in Publishing Technology, a digital book distribution company which he chairs, are up more than 475% year-on-year.
He is a former adviser to the New Schools Network, which advises groups wishing to set up free schools, and co-chaired the National Citizen Service with education secretary Michael Gove prior to the 2010 general election. With home secretary Theresa May he co-chaired the Get Britain Working campaign, under whose umbrella are the controversial Work Programme and imminent Universal Credit. He is also chair of DanceEast.
Sir Vernon Ellis, ENO president, said: ‘Martyn Rose has brought his entrepreneurial flair not only to the successful companies he has built but also to the major charities and arts organisations he has chaired. A common theme has been the creation of a shared vision for the organisation and the drive and inspiration to deliver it. I am confident that he will provide the Board with the leadership to work alongside the ENO Executive to ensure that ENO will grow, develop and flourish.’
ENO will also announce its 2013/14 season on 1 May.