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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Royal Opera offers seats for 10
Royal Opera House - Covent Garden
The cheap seats will be available in the stalls
The Royal Opera House is to offer some of the best seats in the house to ballet and opera lovers for just 10.

The venue in Covent Garden, central London, has signed a 1m sponsorship deal with currency firm Travelex, which will run for three years.

It will back 100 top price tickets for opera and ballet on Mondays, cutting their price to 10 each.

It follows a similar scheme - also funded by the same company - at the National Theatre last year.

The seats - in the stalls and stall circle areas - will be made available for the venue's 2004/2005 season.

There will be a series of cut-price Mondays from 20 September until November 29, and again from 18 April to 11 June next year.

Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall said: "I want to make the Royal Opera House a place where anyone and everyone can come, feel welcome and enjoy world class opera and ballet - that is why we are all committed to trying to keep our seats as affordable as possible."

Price reductions

Mr Hall told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that overall prices for all ballet performances will be reduced by 7, while tickets for triple bills will come down from 68 to 50.

"39% of people who came through our doors last year were new, so we must be doing something right," he said.

Travelex chairman Lloyd Dorfman said: "This partnership enables people to see world-class opera and ballet from the best seats in one of the world's greatest theatres for an unbelievably low price."

Highlights in the Royal Ballet's 2004/2005 season, which starts later this year, include performances of A Wedding Bouquet, Cinderella and La Fille Mal Gardee in honour of British choreographer Frederick Ashton's centenary year.

New season

The Royal Opera will open its season in September with David Puntney's Olivier Award-winning production of Martinu's The Greek Passion.

Other highlights include Faust, by Charles Gounod, Verdi's La Traviata, Puccini's Madama Butterfly and La Boheme.

New productions to the Opera House include Die Walkure and Das Rheingold, both by Wagner, Rossini's Il Turco in Italia and Werther, by Jules Massenet.

The BBC's Razia Iqbal
"Even if it's cheap a vast majority may not want to see this kind of show"

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