‘Opera must tighten its belt’ warns Culture Secretary

Performers at the English National Opera are reportedly to be put on a strict diet as part of the cuts programme submitted to the Treasury by the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt. “If we’re looking to save money in the arts, we should start with opera. They’re well fat.” said Hunt in a prepared statement to the Commons this afternoon.

“Think of all the dinners they have, it must cost a fortune. The male tenors alone must be eating at least five roast chickens a day. It’s not like they’re bodybuilders or professional athletes or anything, they’re just fat and shouty. It wouldn’t do them any harm to cut down on all the eating – it’ll be good for both their hearts and the nation’s wallet.”

Hunt is expected to follow up the drastic cuts in opera with a further reduction in spending on ballet. “The shoes alone must be worth a few quid,” said a spokesperson from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

“They don’t need shoes. So they might run the risk of getting the odd splinter, but with the cash we can generate from selling all the used ballet gear on eBay I think it’s worth it. We could probably sell off the tutu’s and leotards as well, they could just perform in their own clothes. We’ll call it dress-down-ballet or something.”

Previous cuts suggested by the department include the Royal National Theatre hosting a weekly ‘bring and buy’ sale and getting the entire cast of Legally Blonde The Musical to leave the country for ever.