Letter: Subsidy is essential for touring opera

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The Independent Online
Sir: David Lister ('Less arty and more in tune, please', 22 July) draws attention to the Arts Council plan to withdraw guaranteed funding from Glyndebourne Touring Opera after 1994. He poses the question: 'Could not Glyndebourne's parent company take over this funding from the public purse?'

The answer is simple, and emphatically, No. Glyndebourne already does subsidise its touring operation and has done since GTO's beginning in 1968. This fact is reflected in the particularly good value that Glyndebourne Touring Opera has consistently given to the taxpayer in terms of Arts Council subsidy per seat sold - a very much smaller figure than for any comparable company.

Glyndebourne Touring Opera cannot function without Arts Council subsidy.

Yours faithfully,

ANTHONY WHITWORTH-JONES

General Director, Glyndebourne

Lewes, East Sussex

22 July

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