Professor Alexandra Wilson was invited to the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 23 May to address the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for opera, chaired by Sir Bob Neill. Attendees included the Minister of State for Digital and Culture (Caroline Dinenage), MPs, life peers and hereditary peers, with representation from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Parliamentarians from all parties are extremely concerned about recent cuts to opera funding by Arts Council England, which have already led to the cancellation of the Glyndebourne Tour and a reduction in touring by Welsh National Opera, and about the edict that English National Opera must relocate outside London and drastically reinvent its operations on a reduced budget. Professor Wilson drew upon her research, funded by a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, to provide historical context about the funding of opera in Britain over the last century and about opera’s strong historic appeal to audiences of all classes. Members of the APPG will draw upon Professor Wilson’s research countering unhelpful stereotypes about opera’s supposed “elitism” as part of their efforts to make the case for the continued funding of the UK’s leading operatic institutions.
Prof Alexandra Wilson at the Houses of Parliament
May 26, 2023