Royal Opera House Strips Vilar's Name From Young-Artist Program

Classic Arts News   Royal Opera House Strips Vilar's Name From Young-Artist Program
The Royal Opera House has renamed its young-artist program because of opera patron Alberto Vilar's failure to deliver the money he pledged for it, the London Times reports.

The Vilar Young Artists Program is now known as the Jette Parker Young Artists Program, in honor of the chair of the philanthropic Oak Foundation.

Vilar has been charged with defrauding an investor of millions of dollars. A Covent Garden spokesman said that the program was renamed not because of the fraud charges, but because of Vilar's nonpayment of his pledge. Vilar has not paid for the young-artist program since 2002.

"We have informed him of this," the spokesman said. "He was understanding about it. It has been a very successful program and it would not have got off the ground without his help. But it is very difficult...when someone else comes along and wants to sponsor the program."

According to the Times, the Royal Opera House board is also considering whether to take Vilar's name off the Vilar Floral Hall.

In related news, Vilar managed to secure a $10 million bond in order to make bail and was released from jail on June 20, New York Newsday reports. Vilar will be under home detention and will be monitored electronically until he is tried.

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