Letter: An opera house for Compton Verney

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Sir: In her article 'Everything in the garden is lovely' (18 July), Gillian Widdicombe compares the operatic contributions at Garsington, Broomhill and other country opera venues, but she does not do justice to the projected opera and ballet house at Compton Verney. We are planning a purpose-built house to seat 1,150 which will provide summer seasons of opera and ballet and education programmes in winter.

Our planning authority (Stratford on Avon District Council) has expressed support for the project, but we have had to face a very time-consuming public inquiry, as we plan to build in an historical landscape containing a listed buildings.

We have not, as Gillian Widdicombe suggests, neglected our supporters. The Compton Verney Association, founded in 1991, has put on four concerts a year at Compton Verney (until this year, when construction work in progress forced us to look at other venues). Opera stars of the stature of Thomas Allen and Robert Tear have sung to full houses and great applause by our supporters from far and near.

Yours faithfully,

WILLOUGHBY de BROKE

The Compton Verney

Opera and Ballet Project

London, SW1

22 July

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