London operagoers are going to have to dig deeper into their wallets for tickets. The price of the best seats at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, will rise to about $170 each when Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo sing there next season. General director Jeremy Isaacs said, “We either charge these prices or we go out of business.” He also announced an 11% overall rise on seats for other than special performances. The best seats will be $140, but at the other end of the scale (so to speak), seats at the very top of the house, where only a corner of the stage can be seen, remain at $4. Isaacs noted that as the tickets are going up, government subsidy is going down. Next year’s subsidy is $23.6 million--40% of the Royal Opera’s income, and down from 60% five years ago.
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