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Royal Opera fans asked to pay for props
London's Royal Opera House is calling on fans to sponsor pricey props such as crowns and swords so it can maintain its world-class standards.

The opera house has written to supporters asking them to pick a prop as one of its schemes to raise 8m in private cash support, reports BBC Online News.

Director Francesca Zambello said the venue needed "even more of your money" to keep standards up. She explained it cost 150 for Macbeth's gold crown, 250 for Othello's sword, 500 for a wig in the production of Queen of Spades and 1,500 for a sedan chair in Don Giovanni.

The ROH already receives a grant of 20m from the government, plus 23m from the box office. It aims to raise 8m from sponsorship.

Two years ago, the government was forced to raise its grant from 15m to 20m, in a bid to ensure the venue reopened after a multi-million pound redevelopment, funded largely by the National Lottery.

But the Covent Garden-based building insisted its appeal to raise 8m from private sources was necessary. Last year it raised 6.5m from private sources.

Thu Dec 13 2001 (4:05:05 PM)