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Poor house

(Photograph) - Poor house? The Royal Opera House has dropped half of the school matinees scheduled for 1995-6 because of lack of sponsorship. The announcement came within days of its lottery windfall of Pounds 55 million and the Arts Council, which distributes the lottery cash, had insisted on improved public access. For the past 10 years the ROH has staged three ballet and three opera performances for schools, but this year it says it can only afford the ballet. The lottery money is for capital expenditure, not running costs.

Keith Cooper, head of corporate affairs, said it was "very unfortunate and very regrettable, but we are still putting on some 250 events a year for young people".

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