12 APRIL 1975, Page 5

Financing opera

Sir: With regard to the correspondence under the heading 'Financing Opera' (March 29), could I possibly enlist a fraction of the space to make a personal statement and ask a question.

The statement is that I do not know why any fraction of my salary (via PAYE and the Arts Council) should be compulsorily allocated to the financing of opera, which I do not like, any more than 1 understand why anybody else should be compelled to subsidise music and drama, which, separately, I love.

I will ask a specific question: Can any of your readers supply me with a good reason why last year the GLC provided £5.1 million worth of labour and materials to help build the National Theatre, at a time when they could not build enough houses, schools and hospitals, and also at a time when essential services were being told that they must reach an unsubsidised position as soon as possible?

So far, the only answers I have received to this question are: a) It could not be done without a subsidy; b) I, am an art-basher; c) What is a gentleman from Horsham doing poking his nose into London affairs?

I have a feeling that the lack of support I. have received for my view might possibly result from the same dichotomy that makes even an atheist tiptoe in church! I. C. Snell

.28 Bishopric Court, Bishopric, Horsham, Sussex