Sponsorship in the Arts

As another successful season came to a close at Investec Opera Holland Park, opera critic and author Robert Thicknesse took a closer look at the ongoing and long-standing relationship OHP has with Investec Wealth & Investment, why the partnership is tremendously positive for the company and the direct impact on the 2017 Season and beyond. 

You often get the impression that some in the arts world feel it’s beneath them to think about money: aesthetics and finance should inhabit different universes, one elevated and pure, the other grubby and worldly. In the real world, things work differently, and in a country where public subsidy is shrinking all the time, the arts could hardly exist without the participation and support of business and finance.

I asked Michael Volpe, Opera Holland Park’s General Director, about the company’s relationship with its main sponsor, Investec Wealth & Investment, now in its seventh year: ‘We couldn’t be the company we are without this kind of sponsorship. The many advantages we get from this relationship include security, enhanced profile, an expanded audience – plus a partner with high standards who helps keep us up to scratch. We would be unable to keep our ticket prices the way they are; and it allows us to spend money where we think it’s important, on the quality of the musical performance and the amenities of the theatre – including the toilets, new in 2017. The length and security of our partnership means that we are able to plan much further ahead: hugely important in the opera world, where singers and conductors can be booked up years in advance.’

Investec’s sponsorship portfolio includes great sporting events like the Investec Cricket Test Series and the Investec Derby, as well as artistic organisations. Jonathan Wragg, CEO of Investec Wealth & Investment says: ‘We have been working with arts organisations for many years – such as our long-standing partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – but this is our first significant sponsorship of an opera or festival. We’ve learnt a lot along the way, but from the very beginning it has genuinely felt like a partnership.’

The theatre is small and intimate enough for Investec to give its clients proper personal attention, but the rest of the audience never has to feel the place has been taken over by loads of corporates in the best seats – there’s a degree of subtlety about the sponsorship that fits in nicely with the relaxed ambience of the theatre. For OHP, the greatest advantage the partnership brings is very much to do with the company’s standards, the relationship simply encourages them to keep on getting better and better.

To find out more about Investec Wealth & Investment and how they might be able to help please visit www.investecwin.co.uk or call Chris Sandford on 020 7597 1038.