From Mr Jeremy Isaacs Sir: With regard to your leading article of 13 January ("Let the market return to Covent Garden"), we try hard not to let the market dominate our practices here but we do charge the highest prices we can for performances, such as Pavarotti's, for which d emand so grossly exceeds supply. We got fed up, to be blunt, with touts offering tickets at four times our price, and getting it. But that is for only half a dozen performances a year, and the price cited [£260] applies to only 85 seats in a house accomm odating 2,000.

Thousands will come to these performances of Ballo in Maschera here at under £50, and thousands more at the special performance Signor Pavarotti has agreed to give for us at the Royal Albert Hall, specifically to ensure that as many opera lovers as possible can hear him in London this season. So, if it is a market, it is as socially responsible a market as we can contrive.

Yours sincerely, JEREMY ISAACS General Director Royal Opera House London, WC2

13 January