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In Search of a Magic Flute

The Public Funding of Opera – Dilemmas and Decision Making

David Ranan

This book investigates the public funding of opera in Britain and Germany and the nature of failures of decision making in the allocation of funds to opera companies. A description of the funding systems in Germany and in Britain is followed by case studies in both countries.
The case studies reveal that the funding bodies have never defined their aims well. However, it is also shown that this lack of well-defined objectives is not the root of the problem. Powerplay of stakeholders and inadequate management of power politics are the reason for the failures in the implementation of policy vis-à-vis opera companies.
A decision-making model as a practical and realistic solution is proposed for funding bodies in Britain and Germany. The suggested model covers the full range of decision-making situations confronting public funding bodies of opera companies.
Contents: Opera – Subsidies – Decision making – Cultural policies – Implementation – Britain and Germany – Power politics – Case studies: Demise of Kent Opera, Establishment of Opera North, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Crises in Berlin, Deteriorating Frankfurt, Tranquil Bavaria – Decision making model for public funding bodies.