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Opera Holland Park responds to Times defamation

June 19, 2017 by norman lebrecht

14 comments.


Blamed by a Times ‘investigation’ for taking council funds at the expense of the poorest in the borough, Opera Holland Park has responded with a sombre statement noting its engagement with the Grenfell Tower disaster.

In summary:

– Opera Holland Park receives no council funds, has not done so since 2015.

– One of its cherished staff members is listed as missing in the inferno.

– The company employs many people from the borough and is closely involved with local charities.

– It has launched a large fundraising effort for Grenfell Tower victims.

Read the full statement here.

Shame on the Times. Might be time to cancel subscriptions.


Comments (14)

  1. Bum Note says:

    Will OHP ask Sue, Grabbit & Runne to start proceedings against the Dirty Digger forthwith? This is going to end up in the Lunchtime O’Boulez/O’Rihm column of PE.

    1. Nik says:

      The article is disgusting and inappropriate, but is it libellous?

      1. Plumber Joe says:

        Nope, but if you look up FOI requests to K & C Council seems someone is on to summat. A sparky just told me most of tower block relays and wiring will be easily fried in a big power surge it seems this one got a load of surges back in 2013, which were not addressed, if the contact breakers were duff well who knows. An FOI to get the full maintenance log and electrical safety certification on the block would be interesting. The Daily Mail is now peddling the same guff story as The Times. As Newspapers are not peer reviewed, its safe to ignore what they report. Go to the IEE website. It does look like electrical/gas the most likely cause rather than the cladding, as the fire alarms failed, this would suggest the relays were up the spout.

        1. Nik says:

          If you want to start a discussion about the causes of the fire then this is not the right forum. The point made here is that Opera Holland Park is not among them, and the Times was wrong to make this connection.

          1. Bum Note says:

            You need to show some humanity mate. Who cares if your precious opera company is defamed, its hardly world class. In any case I don’t take orders from some old maggot. Wise up and start caring about others.

  2. Jimmy says:

    The fact that RBKC has allegedly £247 million in reserves is a bigger concern than chucking a few quid to a well recognised organisation that spreads it message far and wide. Plus that was only up to 2015.

    Of course that is what the right wing press does-blame somebody else for the people it supports failings!

  3. Martain Smith says:

    So-called journalism! (when did The Times cease being the times?)
    Perhaps D.Trump was (for once) right in his term;
    “LOSERS”!

    1. Detectorist says:

      It ceased being the Times when Murdoch bought it and when Rees Mogg left. There are better ways of finding stuff out than rags. FOI requests are good, its like metal detecting!

  4. Root Cause Analysis says:

    Architect Sam Webb carried out a safety survey of Tower blocks in the UK in the 1990s a report he subsequently sent to the Home Office, indicated 50% of Tower blocks did not meet basic fire safety standards.

    Architect Doug Roberts returns to San Francisco for the dedication of the Glass Tower, which he designed for James Duncan. At 138 stories, it is the world’s tallest building. An electrical short starts an undetected fire on the 81st floor. Roberts suspects the electrical engineer, Roger Simmons, also Duncan’s son-in-law, of cutting corners and confronts him, but Simmons stonewalls Doug. Film The Towering Inferno, 1974.

    Just Fancy That

  5. Stevestjohn says:

    The Times does state it is now an independent charity. The point they make is that over many years housing has not been a priority and the opera is an example.

  6. Cynical Bystander says:

    The rule for newspapers and blogs(?) is never explain, never apologise. OHP statement should be published by the Times, I don’t buy it so will not know if they do so. As an aside, many of the senior staff at the Times probably live in Kensington and Chelsea, the leafier parts, and so equally will have benefited from policies that reduce their council taxes.

  7. Halldor says:

    Certain grim fascination in seeing a UK arts organisation loudly clarifying that no, it is not in receipt of public funding (usually presented – in contrast to those beastly capitalist private and corporate donors – as the source of all virtue and righteousness in UK arts circles).

  8. Jerry says:

    All this fuss. Its not as if HPO is world class like Wien, ROH, Met, Salzburg, Berlin, Dresden, Bayreuth. The Dirty Digger’s rags always get it wrong, the wonder is folk still buy it or sign up to their website.

  9. jon loomer says:

    If you want to start a discussion about the causes of the fire then this is not the right forum. The point made here is that Opera Holland Park is not among them, and the Times was wrong to make this connection.


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