Stuart Murphy, managing director of English National Opera (ENO), comes across as equal parts pissed off, confident and campy. The 51-year-old met in the red silk-wallpapered Ellis Room at the Coliseum, the ENO venue in central London. According to the will of the Arts Council England (ACE), which is responsible for the promotion of culture, the opera is to move out here soon. The ACE announced last month that it wanted to cut all subsidies for the second London opera house – after Covent Garden – and called on the ENO to move to Manchester (SZ from 20.11.). This prompted outrage, global expressions of solidarity and a summons for ACE chief executive Darren Henley by the UK House of Commons Culture Committee. Stuart Murphy, who was also head of entertainment at the BBC and Sky, says: Without a base in the metropolis, the institution cannot exist.