The Boards of Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera announce today that, after consultation with the Scottish Arts Council, they will create a single board and appoint a Chief Executive of Scottish Ballet / Scottish Opera, to take up responsibility for the merged companies.
The new joint Board - made up of the current Ballet and Opera boards - will be responsible for Opera and Ballet and the various service functions within the merged organisation: administration, technical, marketing, fundraising, education and outreach.
The new Board will appoint a Chief Executive to whom Robert North, Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet and Richard Armstrong, Music Director of Scottish Opera, will report. Amongst his/her prime responsibilities will be that of protecting and promoting the artistic aims and aspirations of the two companies.
A new Chair will be appointed from outside either Board. Upon that appointment Peg Beveridge, Chair of Scottish Ballet and Sandy Orr, Chairman of Scottish Opera will step down from their respective current Boards.
A selection panel, with responsibility for the appointment of the Chief Executive, will convene at the earliest opportunity. However, in the short term, the new Board will appoint an experienced Arts Manager to ensure the momentum towards the merger of both companies is maintained and negotiations with Government, unions, funders and staff continue without further delay.
The new Board pledges its commitment to the current merger of administrative and technical functions. It also recognises that maintaining the separate artistic identity of both Companies is an essential element of the merger.
Peg Beveridge, Chair of Scottish Ballet, said:
" This announcement emphasises and strengthens our two Companies' commitment to the merger and the management of this important and vital process of change. It is a symbol of the trust that exists between the organisations that we can pledge ourselves towards the future in this way.
So much has been achieved already towards the merger that we are determined for there to be no further delay in bringing the two Boards together and in seeking a suitable Chief Executive to take the Companies forward.
We are grateful to the Scottish Arts Council for their understanding and support. I would also like to thank our artists and staff who have shown continued commitment, patience and understanding over the last few weeks."
Sandy Orr, Chairman Scottish Opera, said:
" The most important duty is to secure a stable future for Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet.
I must thank everyone at Scottish Opera: they are an inspiring Company and it has been a privilege to share their work for nine years."
Magnus Linklater, Chairman, Scottish Arts Council, said:
" This joint decision by Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera to create a single board underlines the commitment the members of both boards have to ensuring that Scotland continues to produce ballet and opera of the highest quality. The Scottish Arts Council shares that commitment.
I should like to pay tribute to the effort and dedication of the members of both boards. They have worked hard to resolve a complex situation and to secure the future of the two companies. Also to the staff of Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera. They have continued to produce quality work during this period of uncertainty and while I recognise that there are still issues to be resolved, I hope that they will see this decision as being in their best interests."