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Opera company latest arts organisation to be targeted by thieves

Pop-Up Opera has had to adapt its performances since the equipment and props were stolen. Photo: Robert Workman Pop-Up Opera has had to adapt its performances since the equipment and props were stolen. Photo: Robert Workman
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A touring opera company has become the third performing arts organisation to be targeted by thieves in London in less than a month.

Pop-Up Opera, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to make opera accessible to all, has had about £7,000 worth of equipment stolen from its tour van.

The break-in was discovered on the morning of May 29, where the van was parked in Peckham, south London, and reported to police.

Equipment taken from the vehicle included an electric piano, amps, projectors, a laptop, a money belt and an entire case of props.

The van, which had recently been installed with a wheel lock, was not taken in the burglary.

It follows two similar incidents in the past month. Theatre company the Lord Chamberlain Men’s tour van was stolen from where it was parked in Lewisham and the Central School of Ballet graduate company’s tour van containing 100 handmade costumes was taken from the organisation’s premises in Farringdon.

Central School of Ballet students ‘devastated’ as 100 handmade costumes stolen

Pop-Up Opera has since continued with its tour of Mozart Double Bill: Der Schauspieldirektor and Bastien Und Bastienne, including the day after the equipment was stolen, and has had to adapt the production accordingly.

Marketing and arts administrator at Pop-Up Opera, Emily Salmon, said: “Our initial reaction was just shock, we couldn’t believe someone would do that. Because we are self-funded and all our funding comes from show revenues, we couldn’t afford to take this hit and lose any of our shows, so everyone went into survival mode.”

She added: “We are so grateful to everyone for their help; we are blown away by all the love and support we have received.”

The organisation is hoping to raise money towards replacing equipment via a GoFundMe crowdfunding page, as only half the contents of the van were covered by insurance. More than £5,000 has already been donated.

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