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Worst of both worlds

The Royal Opera House, which has just closed for two and a half years, is in permanent crisis. This is because its public subsidy is both too big and too small

How much should we care about what happens to the Royal Opera House, which has just closed its doors for two and a half years and which many suspect may languish for longer than that? The government, like most of the rest of us, has yet to make up its mind. Its instinct to open up the house to provide opera and ballet for the many-which implies spending more money-still vies with the instinct to land a cheap shot on the exclusive pleasure house of the few.

Compared with the social security budget or even the millennium dome, the question…

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