Letter: Fate of the opera

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I share Geoffrey Wheatcroft's dismay at the continuing saga of the Royal Opera House's finances ("Privatise the Royal Opera House, or nationalise it", 10 September). Is it beyond us to continue to subsidise opera while focusing that subsidy more strongly to reflect public priorities?

Supposing we were to let the ROH be privatised, with all the advantages that might bring of improved access to corporate funding. Presumably, if the market works at all, an efficient opera house would emerge, finding its own level of financial stability, and high-quality (albeit highly priced) opera performances would continue to be produced.

Government might then switch from funding the institution (and its supposed inefficiencies) towards subsidising direct access to performances.