KL tycoon gives $1.5m to Rome opera house

ROME - Malaysian tycoon and performing arts lover Francis Yeoh has given Rome's struggling opera house €1 million (S$1.5 million), the opera said.

Tan Sri Yeoh, chief of the huge YTL conglomerate, was quoted by the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma as saying on Thursday that he hoped the gift would help the institution "distinguish itself on an international level as one of the most prestigious and excellent artistic centres in the world".

A long-time admirer of Italy's prized opera singers Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, Mr Yeoh has financed numerous classical music concerts at home and abroad.

The Roman theatre hit the headlines last year after a series of orchestra and chorus strikes, summing up the struggle across the arts sector in a country hit hard by funding cuts during the deepest recession since World War II.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'KL tycoon gives $1.5m to Rome opera house'. Print Edition | Subscribe