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Thursday, 20 November 2014


For years hard pressed council tax payers have indulged the council's fantasy of being a Medici type organisation. 
Opera Holland Park costs us £500,000 a year, plus a hidden subsidy of another £500,000(the Council uses its staff to do admin as well as storing, erecting and dismantling the tent for free, with no rent charged for facilities etc)
So, in all, we pay £1million per year....and the irony is that the opera goers don't even come from within the Royal Borough!
It has cost us millions read it here at a time when the Council claims it can't afford basic frontline services.

It now seems that wily director of  Opera Holland Park Opera, Michael Volpe, has put a gun to the Council's head(aka our head) and demanded that he be given £5 million to go away.


OHP has been a drain on council tax payers for years. Only once, under the leadership of ex Cllr Ian Donaldson, did it ever make a profit.

Why can't it make a profit? 

Well, it might have something to do with market forces and the fact that down the road there are two world class opera houses whose prices, for substantially higher quality productions, are lower than the amateurish and seasonal Opera Holland Park.

RBK&C taxpayers should be up in arms at this blatant splurging of our reserves,

Michael Volpe the highly paid director of this financial fiasco should be told to take a hike and find his own 'angels'.


  1. The third rate HPO has always smacked of ancienne regime Versailles. It's an utter disgrace. Residents have been robbed blind for years over a travesty, while services to the disabled have been slashed to the bone. Typically of RBKC, we read in the Evening Standard that the price of ridding ourselves of HPO is to hand over yet another £5 million of our cash! All this because a few Horton Street inmates fooled themselves that they engaged in high culture.

  2. The Girl from the Golden West this year was truly dreadful - so no wonder the Evening Standard used a still from that to illustrate the story.

  3. Anyone expecting the Labour Group to fight against Holland Park Opera will be sadly disappointed.
    Councillor Blakeman is an ardent supporter of this complete waste of Council Tax payers money and loves nothing more than to be seen puffing up her ego at OHP with her Tory pals.

    1. Why do we have such a useless ruling party?

  4. Apparently it's H & F Labour that wants out of this particular racket. It would be interesting to know what they think of the prospect of having to fork out £2.5 million as their share in doing so.

    On a more positive note, the years of RBKC Tory hospitality enjoyed by Blakeman may be coming to an end at last.

    1. Maybe the tri Borough was not a bad idea after all.....

  5. Volpe was always a wild card. Now he says that he can raise funds privately if the Council steps down because "sponsors will not pay up if they think they are subsidising the Council".

    Well said Sir. At last a statement of common sense. Lets stop wasting taxpayers' money now and let Volpe get on and raise that private capital that he thinks is waiting for his call.

    A £5 million bung is out of the question. An outrageous suggestion. Already £10 million of hard earned tax payers' cash has been wasted on this elitist bit of nonsense and it has to stop.

  6. This is just another wheeze by the Cabinet to keep talking about Holland Park Opera. Whatever happened to the Tot Brill Report? Sunk without trace, of course.

    Another round of jaw jaw by the useless Cabinet and another report will be placed on the shelf. And expect another report next year.

    Time to shit or get off the pot boys.

  7. This whole fiasco clearly demonstrates the Councils priorities; self-aggrandising projects over schools and housing.
    Surely they can't all be so incredibly dull-witted not to be able to see how ridiculous they look while cutting services and paying millions for opera. I'm sure it makes a fantastic freebie for all the councillors but maybe, just occasionally, they should consider their constituents first.

    1. As usual, where Holland Park Opera is concerned, the Council is understating the costs of subsidy and even the cost of getting shot of the scandal. When the opera becomes an independent entity the staff will lose their inflation proof pensions and final salary schemes and they will also lose their inflated public service salaries. They will need to be paid off. One conservative estimate of the cost f this is £1.5 million, including a £400k payoff for Volpe.

  8. A brilliant move by the K&C Cabinet. The H&F Cabinet will veto the expenditure of £5 million to get rid of the opera, rightfully seeing this as an outrage of spending public money. So after all the talking and shouting things will carry on exactly as before and the £1 million a year subsidy to Hollad Park Opera will continue. Just what Paget-Brown and his fellow robbers want.


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