BBC Disbands Century-Old Singers Group and Cuts Orchestras by 20% in Cost-Cutting Measures
March 9, 2023

BBC Singers will be axed after a cent below cost-cutting measures which will see twenty per century of performers lose their roles at three of the BBC’s permanent orchestras. Musicians called the move ‘devastating’ and ‘cultural vandalism’ Musicians accd the BBC of “cultural vandalism” as the broadcaster axed the century-old BBC Singers and announced deep cuts to its orchestras. The “devastating” measures imply that the internationally-renowned BBC Singers, Britain’s only full-time professional chamber choir, will be disbanded, at a cost of twenty jobs, with the BBC’s three English orchestras also facing redundancies of twenty per cent.

The BBC said the cuts were fundamental to “ensure we deliver high quality orchestral and choral music within a sustainable financial model”. Musicians said the move was a bitter blow as the sector seeks to recover the pandemic. The BBC is single-biggest employer of UK musicians in an increasingly insecure classical world. “It is fundamental that the BBC invests in more broadcast opportunities a greater range of high-quality ensembles, and therefore the BBC has made the challenging decision to near the BBC Singers (twenty posts) and invest resources in a wider pool of choral groups across the UK,” the broadcaster said.

This would assistance “emerging and diverse choirs” to be engaged in a “wider and a future audience” with the BBC, establishing a new nationwide choral development programme. A voluntary redundancy process will start at the BBC Symphony, BBC Concert and BBC Philharmonic orchestras aimed at cutting about twenty per century of employed jobs. The three affected orchestras and the BBC Singers are based in England, while the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are currently unaffected. Cutting orchestral positions would help “flexible, agile ensembles that can work creatively, bringing in more musicians when needed and broadcasting more venues in different parts of the country”, the broadcaster said.

First established in one thousand nine hundred twenty-fourth and a regular feature at the BBC Proms, the BBC Singers won't be allowed to maintain their long-established title and continue as an ensemble exterior of the Corp when the grouping is disbanded. Jonathan Manners, who produces the BBC Singers for Radio three, said the choir was “devastated” by the news.

2024 © Opera World
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram