Letter: Royal Opera House

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Sir: Tonight (3 December) the Royal Ballet represents the United Kingdom at the festivities marking the reopening of the Teatro Real in Madrid. From Friday the Royal Opera contributes to the Year of Opera and Music Theatre in East Anglia with performances of Britten's Paul Bunyan. Both events represent the essence, quality and range of the Royal Opera House and its performing companies.

That Mary Allen, our chief executive since September, should be so vilified in today's select committee report scorns the efforts and achievements of the entire organisation during this difficult period of transition. Under Ms Allen's leadership, we are facing up to our problems, restructuring management and financial systems, and developing economically viable artistic plan that will enable us to return to Covent Garden with a programme that does justice to our redeveloped theatre.

That our development continues on time and on budget, while our fundraising has been more successful than any other comparable capital campaign, demonstrates the commitment of very many people to achieving our goals. We will do this best through our own endeavours, by strong management and leadership. We could have no better champion of our cause than Ms Allen, who has our unreserved support.

Sir ANTHONY DOWELL

Director of the Royal Ballet

KEITH COOPER

Director of Sales and Marketing

RICHARD HALL

Director of Finance

JOHN HARRISON

Technical Director

MIKE MORRIS

Director of Personnel

NICHOLAS PAYNE

Director of the Royal Opera

PHYLLIDA RITTER

Director of the Friends of Covent Garden

ANTHONY RUSSELL-ROBERTS

Administrative Director of the Royal Ballet

JOHN SEEKINGS

Development Director

MALCOLM WARNE HOLLAND

Orchestra Director

Royal Opera House

London WC2

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