HC Deb 20 March 1989 vol 149 cc723-4
24. Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Minister for the Arts if he has any plans to attend the London international opera festival.

The Minister for the Arts (Mr. Richard Luce)

I welcome the aims of the London international opera festival. I will be giving a reception for Pavilion Opera at Lancaster house on Thursday 18 May, which is to be followed by a performance.

Mr. Greenway

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the London international opera festival does an excellent job in encouraging young composers, singers and audiences to participate in opera? Could not that example be emulated in other parts of the country? Will my right hon. Friend give his Oscar to that body which would be a much worthier recipient than some other recipients of Oscars yesterday?

Mr. Luce

I agree with my hon. Friend that the opera festival which takes place in May and June places particular emphasis on young people, young composers, singers and audiences. It is very valuable because it is a good investment for the future.

Mr. Tony Banks

I am glad to hear the Minister welcoming the opera festival. Precisely what funding is being provided for the festival by the Office of Arts and Libraries? May I have an invitation to the reception?

Mr. Luce

I take careful note of the hon. Gentleman's last request. In regard to money, the hon. Gentleman knows that direct funding for the performing arts is not provided by the Office of Arts and Libraries, but by the Arts Council. A number of opera companies such as the English National Opera, Kent Opera and Opera North receive direct funding from the Arts Council which decides what support it gives to such organisations.

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