Is classical music just for rich people?

This is the first of Lady Eff’s Rants which are being broadcast as part of the Classics From Scratch programme on Secklow Sounds, an online radio station which  brings people and communities together. Classics From Scratch is presented by Catherine Rose and is broadcast at 2 pm on Thursdays. It is available to listen online a few days later.

It might seem ironic that someone calling herself Lady Effingham actually wants to point out that classical music is for everyone. I may as well confess upfront that the name and the title are assumed, and exist entirely to give me a platform from which to have a good rant.

People seem to think that classical music is for rich people. Well, I just went to the website of the Tottenham Hotspurs football club – the home club of all my forebears who were in the business of driving trains on the London Underground. At a home match in Category C, the cheapest price for an adult in the North Lower stand was £32. The most expensive ticket – for a Category A match in the West Upper stand, was £81.

For the Royal Opera House’s production of Tosca, at about the same time of year, the highest ticket price is, I’ll admit it, £175. But the lowest price is £8. Yes, that’s right, £8. To hear the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall on 20th March would have cost you a top price of £42 and the cheapest tickets were a mere £9.

Ah, I hear you cry, but you are talking about the top prices in sport. Yes, I am, and I’m well aware that you can go to a local match at a non-premier club for a lot less – Milton Keynes Dons charges £20 for adults on match days. But you can attend local arts events for very little money, too – Milton Keynes City Orchestra prices go from £10-32. That also cuts down the travelling and means you don’t have to spend £18 on a prawn sandwich in an overpriced wine-bar on the South Bank.

So that’s one thing dealt with: attending classical music is not expensive.

Listening to Classics from Scratch is even cheaper of course – so here is a little bit of Tosca for you, free, gratis and for nothing: Vissi d’arte, in which our heroine sings of how she lives for art, and she lives for love. Just like me, in fact.

Click here to listen to Monsarrat Caballé singing Vissi d’arte by Puccini.

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Published in: on April 25, 2013 at 16:45  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Absolutely loved the first Classics from Scratch today! Lovely music with very interesting commentary by Catherine Rose and a classic rant from Lady Eff. Looking forward to next week’s show.

    Is a prawn sandwich really £18 on the South Bank???

  2. I think that’s an exaggeration about the prawn sarnie, but good points well made Lady Eff. I also enjoyed the show in spite of having to work through it. I hope you are recovering after your first radio outing!

  3. Of course it’s an exaggeration about the prawn sarnie. But once you’ve had a sarnie (or a ‘tartine’ at Le pain quotidien), a drink and a piece of cake, you are probably down about £15 at least.

  4. “Tartine”…. pfff!

    It’s a reep-oeuf.


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