Welsh opera to cut jobs after grant shortfall

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THE WELSH National Opera revealed a package of cuts yesterday - including redundancies, seasonal lay-offs and the cancellation of a production - to deal with a shortfall in funding for 1994-95.

The company said the recession was still affecting ticket sales and business sponsorship, while its grant from the Arts Council had not risen in line with inflation.

Its general director, Matthew Epstein, said: 'Our aim is to balance our 1994-95 budget and preserve as much of our work as possible. Redundancies and cutting a production is a very painful solution, but in a recession and a no-growth funding climate we have no responsible alternative.'

There are expected to be about eight permanent job losses from 1 April, with larger-scale lay-offs for the first three months of 1995. One opera will be cancelled in spring 1995.

The package, which the company says will allow for 'considerable savings', is subject to the final agreement of the Arts Councils of Wales and England and a month of consultation with staff and unions.