Town council to sponsor free Royal Opera House screenings
PUBLISHED: 11:35 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 17 June 2019
© Bill Cooper
A Royal Opera House performance being screened at Exmouth’s Queen’s Drive Space is set to be sponsored by the town council.
At its meeting on Monday, June 10, the council agreed to support the event, which will take place in the events zone of the seafront attraction this summer, at a cost of £3,000 to taxpayers.
East Devon District Council had asked town councillors to sponsor 'one of both' of a Royal Opera House Screening and an open-air cinema event.
The opera house performance was chosen as last year's events, which were free to enter.
Speaking at the meeting, deputy mayor Cllr Brian Bailey said the town council should not be 'spending other people's money'.
He said: "Exmouth Town Council do a wonderful job in doing the festival which is free and very successful.
"I don't think we should be spending our money supporting East Devon on their bedraggled situation at Queen's Drive.
"I can't see why we should put any more money into it."
However, Cllr John Humphreys said the opera house screenings are a rare opportunity for Exmouth families to view the arts.
He said: "This town council would be sponsoring an event from the Royal Opera House in London which puts on wonderful productions and it will be free to the people of Exmouth.
"I believe a lot of people would want it and they would go and support this because there are so many people in this town on small incomes that cannot afford to go to the arts and theatre events towards Exeter and Plymouth.
"This is a good idea that we should help so the people of Exmouth can see these wonderful events, coming out from the theatre."
Cllr Maddie Chapman said she spoke to a family who enjoyed last year's screening on Swan Lake.
She said: "There was no way the mum and dad could have taken three youngsters up to London to see Swan Lake and they had a wonderful time.
"It's £3,000 well spent for the people of Exmouth and it is something different and it's something can inspire youngsters. Who knows? They might go on to become opera singers and ballet dancers."
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