Support Us

Opera is expensive to produce. In spite of the fact that our soloists often perform for a fee well below the norm, and that all our administration is voluntary, ticket sales etc. do not cover the full costs. More often than not, we are fortunate to have the support of Arts Council England and local individuals. In the past we have received grants from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and local authorities. Sponsorship from businesses and grants from Charitable Trusts provide additional funding, but it is invariably necessary each year for the Friends to offer support from accumulated funds.

Gift Aid regulations are financially advantageous to charities, without costing you more than your original donation. All donations are eligible, provided you pay an amount of Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax equal to the amount we can reclaim (currently 25p in every £1 you give). A Gift Aid declaration would allow us to reclaim tax on any donations you have made to us since 6 April 2000.

Join The Friends of Dorset Opera

The Friends of Dorset Opera was established as a separate charity in 1984 with the object of “promoting, supporting, assisting and improving the Society (Dorset Opera)”. In effect this means accumulating funds from members’ annual subscriptions, which are then made available to Dorset Opera when required, but at the same time striving to build up reserves.

The minimum subscription to the Friends is just £40 per year or £60 for a couple. Many kind Friends also include an annual donation taking the average subscription over that figure. Some donations are far more generous, but those donating more than £250 will fall into our Patrons category. To save on administration time, we ask that the subscription be paid by Banker’s Order. A Gift Aid declaration would allow us to reclaim tax without costing you any more.

As a Friend of Dorset Opera you will receive early publicity and priority booking for the summer Festival and discounts on the ticket price of many of the smaller events held throughout the year.  You will also receive a full-colour Newsletter twice a year. Friends’ names are listed in the programme and booking brochure. The Friends’ AGM is combined with that of Dorset Opera, and generally takes place in January each year.

The Friends’ secretary, Sarah Bignell, can be contacted at

Become a Patron of Dorset Opera

The Patrons scheme was instituted in 2006 to encourage financial support from businesses and benefactors. Patronage starts at just £250 per annum – with some generous Patrons and sponsors supporting our charity to the tune of several thousand pounds each year. Some Patrons prefer to link their donation to specific items i.e: soloists’ fees; music hire; scenic or costume design etc., (please ask to see our annual ‘Wish List’).

Many Patrons pay by Standing Order and commit to a five-year cycle of support. There are four levels of patronage which we would invite you to pay by Gift Aid.

The Conductor’s Circle From £250 per annum
The Director’s Circle From £500 per annum
The Chairman’s Circle From £1000 per annum
The President’s Circle From £2500 per annum


  • Your generosity will be acknowledged in the opera programme and other printed material (unless you prefer to remain anonymous)
  • You will receive early publicity and priority booking for each opera; copies of our bi-annual newsletter
  • You will be invited to exclusive events throughout the year
  • You will have an opportunity to join the casts for lunch and view the progress of the opera during our production week
  • Time permitting, you will also be escorted on a tour of the costume and props departments
  • You will be invited to join the Artistic Director and the President or Chairman at a champagne reception on the night(s) you attend the opera
  • Members of our President’s Circle receive the services of a personal booking manager.

The Patrons’ secretary, Elspeth Brown, can be contacted at