Leeds & West Yorkshire

Opera in the Park cancellation criticised

Opera in the Park 2010 Image copyright Other
Image caption Leeds City Council blamed "severe" budget pressures for the cancellation

The decision to cancel an open-air classical music concert in Leeds has been criticised.

Leeds City Council has blamed "severe" budget pressures for cancelling Opera in the Park at Temple Newsam.

A charge was brought in for the annual council-run event in 2011 and Party in the Park, a pop music event held at the same venue, was cancelled in February.

Councillor Dan Cohen said: "At this rate, we will be fortunate to have any cultural events left."

Mr Cohen, the Conservative councillor for Alwoodley, said: "Given that the two events shared a stage and other infrastructure, the cancelling of one would always have seriously undermined the viability of the other."

He said charging for the previously free events of Opera and Party in the Park had seen audience numbers "plummet".

When the charge was introduced for the opera event the council had made 50,000 tickets available.

The council said some aspects of the cancelled concert would now feature as part of their Classical Fantasia event in September.

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