Letter: Funding opera

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Sir: We are pleased that finally a government has had the courage to take on the opera houses of London (report, 4 November). Any normal person (funnily enough this includes most musicians) can see that one house properly run is much better than two houses chaotically and extravagantly run. With this change we are sure that the opera available will be of the highest standards possible.

Further, if the Royal Opera House can apparently raise pounds 15m of private money in a day by just crying "help", why does it need public subsidy at all? Now the Government needs to take a similar decision with those other dinosaurs, the multiple symphony orchestras of London with their repetitive, mediocre performances and half-full houses.

The money saved can be used to promote other types of musical activity round the country that have been and continue to be badly in need of support. Take that pounds 78.5m lottery grant to the ROH - if pounds 1/2m or less had gone to each of 200 or more diverse (and particularly young) music organisations round the country we would have had an amazing boost to everybody's musical life. It is time to give priority to what the people want instead of a few crusty whingeing bigwigs in London.



The Main Music Agenda

Tenterden, Kent