Peter Moores Foundation to close

Organisation bids farewell with a 'Swansong Project'

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The Peter Moores Foundation, which has provided financial support for projects in the worlds of opera, the visual arts and education over the past 50 years, is to close down in April 2014.

The Foundation, set up by Sir Peter Moores in 1964, will conclude its philanthropic work with a two-year Swansong project, beginning in 2013

The project will provide eight opera companies with funding to stage productions including Verdi's Otello at Opera North, Donizetti's Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo from English Touring Opera, the UK premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin at the Royal Opera House and Donizetti's Poliuto at Glyndebourne.

Birmingham Opera, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera will also receive funding.

The Foundation’s previous initiatives have included Stay on at School, a project developed with Lord Pitt to encourage UK pupils of Afro-Caribbean background to progress into further education. It has supported many vocal students and postgraduates in their studies – providing advice as well as financial aid – and has organised schemes to bring opera to wider audiences.

In 1995, the Foundation established the Opera in English label with Chandos Records.  Comprising 62 recorded works, it is the largest collection of operas sung in English translation. As part of Swansong there is to be one final recording made for the collection, though details have not yet been announced.

In a statement, Sir Peter said: ‘I wanted a broad scope for the Foundation, to support and initiate projects in education, health, community work and the visual arts as well as in opera.  We’ve disbursed over £215m in doing so, and are now pretty well spent up ... We want our Swansong to encourage other, younger, would-be or active philanthropists and charities to take up the baton.’

Visit the Peter Moores Foundation website for more information about Swansong events.

Rachel Coombes