Apparent JTI's patronage of the arts isn't limited to the curiously off-key LPO tour (review). It has generously showered tickets and hospitality on peers and MPs, claims the Telegraph today. Lord Trimble got to see La Traviata last year at Glyndebourne, and Baroness Wheatcroft got two tickets to the same performance - which was superb (review). Read the Telegraph story in full here.
The bit missing from the Telegraph article (without checking the band), is that the tickets might have cost as much as £250 each. And it seems unlikely they weren't best seats. It doesn't say if food or travel was included. The peers might easily salve their consciences by imagining Violetta doesn't have TB but rather one of the many diseases caused by smoking: it could be research then.
If the charm offensive continues, Carmen would be a good bet this year, or is that a little too on the nose?