New Head of Scottish Arts Council Calls for Increased Funding for Scottish Opera

Classic Arts News   New Head of Scottish Arts Council Calls for Increased Funding for Scottish Opera
 
Richard Holloway, the newly installed chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, said in an interview with the Scotsman that he would work to increase funding for the struggling Scottish Opera.

Holloway's predecessor in the post, James Boyle, reportedly proposed shutting down the company entirely before the Scottish government settled on a Ô£7 million bailout plan that resulted in a suspension of performances for a year starting in June.

Of the hiatus, Holloway said, "My gut instinct, and this might be politically awkward for me to say, is to feel a bit embarrassed by what happened, but it has happened."

Holloway also said he would push for a "massive infusion" of money for the arts in general. "There is kind of [a] transformative and redemptive side to art which is one of the reasons why we need to democratize and spread art to where it does not reach at the moment," he added.

A onetime radical priest and the former Bishop of Edinburgh, Holloway has prompted controversy in the past with his support of gay and lesbian rights, the ordination of women, and the legalization of marijuana.

In a related story, Nod Knowles, the Arts Council's head of music, has resigned, the Glasgow Herald reports. Knowles, who oversaw the council's funding for the opera and other musical groups, will become the chief executive of the Bath Festivals Trust.


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