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Royal Opera House balances its books in 2012/13

The Royal Opera House, home of the Royal Ballet. Photo: Rob Moore
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The Royal Opera House saw its income increase by 2% to £112 million in 2012-13, in a year that brought 675,000 people to the Covent Garden venue for 415 performances by its opera and ballet companies.

The twin companies presented 18 new productions – of which 10 were new commissions – that were also seen by a global cinema audience of 346,000 in 40 countries. The Royal Ballet’s visit to Tokyo attracted an additional 24,500 theatregoers.

A 10% increase in income from commercial trading and touring together with growth in fundraising helped offset a 5% fall in box office receipts to £37.1 million, equivalent to a third of total income. Arts Council England funding of £27.4 million accounted for 24% of all monies received. A net loss of £2.6 milion was covered by transfers from existing funds, enabling the company to break even at year’s end.

The Royal Opera House’s Annual Review claims it generated more than £3 for every £1 of public money it spent and returned 60p to the Treasury for every £1 of state subsidy received.

Chief executive Alex Beard, who succeeded Tony Hall in September last year, said the figures were the “result of the hard work and determination of staff from across the organisation, whether in offering great customer care, delivering the highest quality productions to the stage on tightly managed budgets, or finding inspired ways to do more for less”.

He added: “It is on these foundations of artistic excellence, broad reach, and committed support that we have embarked on a direction of travel for the period to 2020. This will emphasise investment in artistic development through new commissions, growing our international reputation, improving experiences for audiences, while placing learning and participation at our heart, and playing a full role in engaging people across the country”.

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