The American Friends of Covent Garden was founded in 1969. Initially its membership was largely people whose business, diplomatic postings, and personal and cultural travels took them often to London. They sought, especially in the years leading up to the Bicentennial, to foster the “special relationship” between England and the United States, encouraging Americans in London to attend and support The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. AFoCG also helped to bring and support performances of The Royal Ballet from Covent Garden in American cities.

Today our aspirations and membership are broader. Individuals, foundations and corporations across the United States join the AFoCG out of a commitment to opera and ballet as global art forms. Through grants the AFoCG awards The Royal Opera House three times a year, we support productions not infrequently shared by opera houses or ballet companies in several countries. Further, we help make possible educational and outreach programs to develop both the artists who will perform worldwide – in live performances, radio, HD cinema, and online streaming – and their international audiences.

In 2010 the AFoCG was reorganized with a new chairman and board members and is today undertaking new projects and initiatives, which will lead to providing increased support annually to Covent Garden.

AFoCG goals continue to be:
–to raise the visibility of both the AFoCG and the Royal Opera House (ROH) in the United States;
–to enhance access of American audiences to performances by The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, whether in London or the United States, live or digital;
–to increase the support individuals, foundations and corporations provide for the ROH, its productions and programs through memberships, grants and gifts.



American Friends of Covent Garden (AFoCG) is a not-for-profit organization that raises visibility and provides support for The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.

It brings together lovers of opera and ballet – individuals, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, foundations and corporations from across America and around the globe – to enjoy and support the arts, cultural, educational, and outreach programs of The Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet.



The rite of spring-ROH


Board of Directors

Mercedes T. Bass,
  Chairman of the AFoCG
Alex Beard, Chief Executive
  Royal Opera House
Susan S. Braddock
G. Scott Clemons,
Peggy Czyzak Dannenbaum
Misook Doolittle
H.R.H. Princess Firyal
  of Jordan
Beth Wade Glynn
Joan Granlund
Nancy Peck Green
Simon Holden
Frederick Iseman
Bruce Kovner
Alan G. Levin
Beth Madison
John P. McGinn
David Shevlin,
  Legal Counsel
Ian Taylor,
  Chairman Royal Opera House
John G. Turner