HC Deb 18 March 1991 vol 188 c10
9. Mr. Gwilym Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next expects to meet the board and management of Welsh National Opera to discuss their financial and artistic plans.

Mr. David Hunt

I look forward to my next meeting with the management of the Welsh National Opera. Wales owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to that centre of excellence. I was therefore pleased to be able to find £842,000 to put the company on a secure financial footing. I was also pleased that the Arts Council decided to increase the company's touring grant.

Mr. Jones

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his remarkable generosity towards this jewel in our artistic crown. May I put it to him that the WNO plays no small part in helping to secure inward investment, and urge him to lose no opportunity to take advantage of that?

Mr. Hunt

I could not agree more. I had the privilege and honour to be present in Tokyo at the closing performance of the Welsh National Opera. A very large number—

Mr. Barry Jones


Mr. Hunt

I will give an encore if the hon. Gentleman wishes. At that performance, a large number of Japanese business men were tremendously impressed by Welsh quality. The Welsh National Opera has put Wales on the world map as representing quality.

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