As a large-scale independent regional venue, serving a wide geographical area, the key to fulfilling our charitable mission is the quality, breadth and diversity of our programme. Norwich Theatre does not receive regular public funding, and so offering a wide range of art forms and working in partnership with both commercial and subsidised producers, is also vital to our business model.
Glyndebourne has been touring to Norwich Theatre for more than 50 years and we are very disappointed that, understandably due to funding cuts, they no longer feel able to commit to annual touring. We feel for all those directly impacted by this within that company. It is a point of fact that this will also negatively impact us as a venue and, perhaps most profoundly, will impact audiences in the East of England for whom large-scale opera is their preferred art form.
We are an active supporter of Arts Council England and its Let’s Create strategy and do not believe that ACE’s funding decision in this regard was intended to erode the regional offer to audiences or to compromise the quality, breadth or diversity of venues’ programmes. On behalf of our audiences, we will be seeking a seat at the table along with other venues as part of a national strategic conversation with Arts Council England and the touring opera companies. We feel it is vital that we now focus on working together in a three-way alliance to explore new audience-focussed ways of working.