Scottish Opera May Sell Theatre Royal

Classic Arts News   Scottish Opera May Sell Theatre Royal
The struggling Scottish Opera may sell Theatre Royal, its home in Glasgow, under a plan being considered by city officials, the Scotsman reports.

Under the plan, the company would sell the theater to the Ambassador Theatre Group. The ATG would then lease the theater back to Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet for part of the year as well as staging touring pop acts.

The plan would relieve the opera company of about Ô£250,000 in annual costs.

The company accumulated about Ô£4 million in debt before officials agreed last year to shut down for the 2005-06 season and cut 88 jobs as part of a Ô£7 million bailout deal.

Meanwhile, the Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald report that newly released documents reveal details of the Scottish Arts Council's deliberations about the fate of the company.

Before the bailout deal was made, the documents show, the Arts Council proposed dissolving the acclaimed company entirely and replacing it with a new organization called "Opera for Scotland." The Scottish government rejected that plan.

The documents, released after a request made under the U.K.'s Freedom of Information Act, also show that a report written in January 2001 warned that the company's debts would grow if government aid were not increased.

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