Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Royal Opera House cuts ties with long-term sponsor BP

The Royal Opera House in London (Aaron Chown/PA)
The Royal Opera House in London (Aaron Chown/PA)

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

The Covent Garden arts venue, which has faced pressure from environmental campaigners to distance itself from BP, has been sponsored by the company since 1988.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the opera house confirmed the partnership had not been renewed after the most recent deal came to an end in December.

He said: “We are grateful to BP for their sponsorship over 33 years which has enabled thousands around the country to see free opera and ballet through our BP Big Screens.

BP stock
BP sponsored the Royal Opera House for 33 years (Nick Ansell/PA)

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

“We would like to thank BP for their support, but agreed that the partnership would not extend beyond December 2022, when BP’s contract came to an end.”

The Royal Opera House’s decision to end its relationship with BP follows a number of other arts and cultural institutions severing ties with oil and gas companies in recent years.

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

BP had been the main 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, Scottish Ballet ended its sponsorship deal with BP after the dance company faced pressure from climate activists during Cop26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

The co-founder of campaign group Culture Unstained, Chris Garrard, said of the Royal Opera House’s announcement: “What we are witnessing is a seismic shift, a near wholesale rejection across the arts of BP’s brand and the climate-wrecking business it represents.

“By bringing down the curtain on fossil fuel funding, the Royal Opera House can now play a leading role in creating the culture beyond oil we so urgently need.”

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Tate have also ended sponsorship deals with BP following environmental campaigns launched by artists and employees.

Meanwhile, the National Theatre announced a decision to cut links with BP’s rival Shell in 2019.