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Opera Holland Park offers a new model
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How can opera get out of its hole?

Striking a balance between a posh setting and a fun atmosphere, Opera Holland Park might well have come up with the future of opera, says Rupert Christiansen

7:00AM BST 31 May 2015

The business of opera needs new models, and it needs to find them fast.

The subsidised companies balance their accounts ever more precariously as Tory austerity erodes the Keynesian principle of publicly financed support of high culture. Arts Council grants have been already been pared to about two-thirds of their 2007 levels, as hard-nosed Treasury economists refuse to accept that every ticket sold for this expensive art form of minority interest should merit some £60-70 of support from the taxpayer, or that the major organisations should raise only 25 per cent (English National Opera) to 35 per cent (Royal Opera House) of their turnover from the box office.

It is pie-in-the-sky to think that any future administration will have a change of heart or that the elimination of the government’s deficit will see old levels of generosity restored.

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