Royal Opera House cuts ties with long-term sponsor BP

The Royal Opera House has ended its sponsorship relationship with BP after 33 years, becoming the latest organization to cut ties with the oil giant.

art venue Covent Garden, which has faced pressure from environmental campaigners to move away from BP, has been corporate-sponsored since 1988.

On Wednesday, an opera spokeswoman confirmed the partnership had not been renewed after the most recent deal ended in December.

“We are grateful to BP for their sponsorship over the past 33 years, making it possible for thousands of people across the country to watch opera and ballet for free through our BP Big Screen,” he said.


BP has funded the Royal Opera House for 33 years (Nick Ansell/PA)

“Over the past three years, BP’s support has focused on sustainability initiatives, supporting the recovery of the Royal Opera House after the pandemic and supporting our drive towards net zero.

“We would like to thank BP for its support, but agree that the partnership will not extend beyond December 2022, when BP’s contract expires.”

The Royal Opera House’s decision to end its relationship with BP comes after several other arts and cultural institutions severed ties with oil and gas companies in recent years.

In February last year, the National Portrait Gallery announced that it would not renew its sponsorship with BP after working with the oil giant for more than 30 years.

BP has been a major sponsor of the National Portrait Gallery’s annual portrait award since 1989 when it took over from tobacco company John Player & Sons.

Also in 2022, the Scottish Ballet terminated its sponsorship deal with BP after the dance troupe faced pressure from climate activists during Cop26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

Culture Unstained campaign group co-founder Chris Garrard said of the Royal Opera House announcement: “What we’re seeing is a seismic shift, a near-total denial to the art of the BP brand and to the business that is destroying the climate it represents.

“By lowering fossil fuel funding, the Royal Opera House can now play a leading role in creating the non-oil culture we so desperately need.”

The Royal Shakespeare and Tate Company has also terminated its sponsorship deal with BP following environmental campaigns launched by artists and staff.

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Meanwhile, the National Theater announced its decision to cut ties with BP rival Shell in 2019. Royal Opera House cuts ties with long-term sponsor BP

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