Royal Opera House gets tuneful warning

Culture secretary Chris Smith has warned the Royal Opera House it must improve its financial management if the government is to consider its appeal for a doubling of its #14.5m annual subsidy.

Armed with last week’s report by Sir Richard Eyre which slammed ‘reckless financial management, the incompetent plans for the closure period (and) the factional in-fighting within the organisation’, Smith wrote to the ROH chairman Sir Colin Southgate.

‘You have written to Gerry Robinson and to me saying that, in order to fulfil the board’s future plans for the new theatre, the grant-in-aid to the ROH must be doubled,’ Smith wrote. ‘That would be a tall order in any circumstances. I am particularly surprised that such a request should be made now, in advance of consideration of Sir Richard’s recommendations on financial stability and planning, efficient management structures and value for public money.’

The show goes on; above, Elena Kelessidi as Violetta in a ROH production of ‘La Traviata’ at the Albert Hall.

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