Letter: Congratulations to "The House'

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From Mr Julian Hope

Sir: Keith Cooper's alternative version of the BBC documentary series The House (21 February) was perhaps unnecessarily defensive. Cutting hundreds of hours of fly-on-the-wall reportage must have been a gigantic editing task, and the result was addictive entertainment for a non-specialist audience.

Apparently the box office has benefited immensely, and hopefully these new audiences will not stop at Aida but will return for Matthew Hart and Tippett.

In recent weeks, London has staged a massively popular Albert Hall Boheme and one of the finest Tristan and Isolde performances I have ever seen (ENO), not to mention rare Handel in Blackheath (packed) and a popular touring company at Sadler's Wells.

Our national opera and dance companies are better managed on tighter budgets than most of the international competition, and I applaud The House for its contribution.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Hope

London, SW10