Public outcry brings reprieve for BBC Singers
The BBC has ‘suspended’ the closure of the BBC Singers in the face of an upswell of protest from the whole classical music sector, including a petition (linked in the earlier CHORAL notes post) signed by 140,000 people.
The Singers will be retained at least for the Prom season, but there is no longer term undertaking as to their funding as yet. A BBC spokesman said ‘…we want to fully explore the options which have been brought to us to see if there is another way forward. The BBC still needs to make savings and still plans to invest more widely in the future of choral singing across the UK.’
The decision to retain the BBC singers for the Proms looks to be partly in response to suggestions that UK performers might boycott the showpiece season, and there is much speculation that the BBC may be looking to hive off the group into a form of independence partly funded by public and partly by private sources, much as was done in the case of the Ulster Orchestra. All we know at present is that the decision is delayed, not reversed.