Covent Garden Gets Ô£10 Million Donation

Classic Arts News   Covent Garden Gets Ô£10 Million Donation
The Royal Opera House will receive a Ô£10 million donation from the foundation of the late philanthropist Lord Hamlyn, reports BBC News. The venue's Floral Hall will be renamed the Paul Hamlyn Hall in his honor.

The donation from the foundation of the publisher and arts patron, who died in 2001, is one of the largest ever given to the Royal Opera House, according to the BBC.

An annex added to the ROH as part of its extensive renovation during the 1990s, the Floral Hall was originally named the Vilar Floral Hall, after the philanthropist Alberto Vilar; when he failed to deliver most of the Ô£10 million donation he pledged in 1999, his name was dropped.

The Lord Hamlyn donation, according to the BBC, will go towards educational initiatives such as a new program to teach singing in schools. There will also be free events in the Paul Hamlyn Hall designed to target new audiences, including seasonal festivals and vocal workshops.

The BBC quotes Jane Hamlyn, Lord Hamlyn's daughter and chair of his foundation, as saying, "Paul Hamlyn loved coming to the Royal Opera House. He particularly loved it when the auditorium was filled to the brim with people seeing the best ballet and opera for the first time."

Lord Hamlyn's philanthropic relationship with the Royal Opera House began in 1986, when his wife Helen initiated a discounted ticket program for people who had never experienced opera or ballet. More than 200,000 people have since benefited from the cheaper tickets, according to the BBC.

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