‘It is time for the Royal Opera House to join the right side of this’: Extinction Rebellion to Protest Oil Sponsorship of Opera and Ballet
Extinction Rebellion, the climate emergency movement, is today (11 June) holding a protest at a Royal Opera House outdoor screening of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet.
The screening, which will take place in Trafalgar Square, is sponsored by the oil and gas company BP. During the event, musicians and artists from Extinction Rebellion Lambeth will present a performance titled ‘Petroleo and Fueliet’, drawing attention to the fact that BP is expected to spend $70bn on new oil and gas extraction in the next decade.
In a letter to the Trustees of the Royal Opera House, Extinction Rebellion Lambeth said:
The national acclaim of the Royal Opera House, its integrity and values are transferred by association to the BP brand. They know this leads to a sympathetic public attitude towards their business and weakens the pressure on them to change. That sympathy undermines everyone now standing to confront the climate crisis… BP’s business is a major cause of this crisis. They alone are responsible for 1.5% of global emissions since 1988. BP has no plans for the fundamental reform of their business that the crisis demands. … It is time for the Royal Opera House to join the right side of this.
The protest will take place at 5pm today. During the televised pre-performance warm-up by Gok Wan, Extinction Rebellion supporters will turn away from the big screen and raise their banners. The main performance will not be disrupted. Outside the main arena, performance artists from the Invisible Circus and musicians from Extinction Rebellion Baroque, a string band, will stage ‘Petroleo and Fueliet’.