AP Møller Foundation has pledged an undisclosed figure of more than DK100m (€13.4m) to Royal Danish Opera (RDO) – the single biggest gift in its history. While the exact amount is not known it is far in excess of the DK35m cut in government funding that the company has recently experienced and is believed to be several hundred million Danish Krone.
‘We are super happy and appreciative,’ said Royal Danish Theatre (RDT) head Morten Hesseldahl in an interview with DR Nyheder. ‘The donation is the largest total donation the RDT has ever seen, and it comes at a good time when cuts are on the agenda.’
Some of the funds have been allocated to improve its home – with a particular focus on making it energy efficient. At present, RDO is struggling with large heating bills, which such work could rectify.
AP Møller Foundation in fact built the Copenhagen Opera House and gave it to RDT in 2000 – the company that manages RDO. However, RDT maintains two other large buildings – The Old Stage and The Playhouse – with the combined overheads a serious financial burden.
Money from the donation will also be used to encourage young people to attend the opera, with programmes targeted at children. RDO still plan to go ahead with its downsizing and restructuring plan, which will see a number of people lose their jobs as well as the closure of its set-building facility.