Friday (8/31) on the website for The Stage (U.K.), Alistair Smith writes, “Opera has emerged as the big winner in the first round of Sustain funding from Arts Council England, the new cash pot set up to help cultural organisations combat the effects of the recession. The first … £4 million from the £40 million fund has been announced, with £2.4 million of it going to opera companies. Welsh National Opera received the largest single award, with £900,000 given ‘as bridge funding to mitigate loss from development funds, box office income and bank interest.’ … A spokesperson for ACE said that the reason that opera took up such a large proportion of the initial round of grants was that ‘opera is the most expensive art form to bring to an audience and so grants for that art form do tend to be larger,’ but stressed that ‘looking at the applications currently under consideration, we are confident that when all the awards are made there will be a good geographical and artform spread.’ Others so far receiving awards include Nottingham Playhouse (£362,572), South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell (£114,000) and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (£649,000).”

Posted August 5, 2009