Protesters gathered outside Opera Holland Park (OHP) on Tuesday evening (June 2) to campaign against cuts to services by Kensington & Chelsea Council.
The Mock The Opera march started in Ladbroke Grove before moving to the famous opera house in Pembroke Road.
Demonstrators were objecting to taxpayers' money being pumped into the opera house at a time when several council-funded services are threatened by cut-backs.
It was organised by the Grenfell Action Group and Westway23, and also supported by Westway Stables, Portobello Cafe Society, Save Earl’s Court and other groups and societies.
Eddie Daffarn, from Grenfell, said: “For the last 15 years the council has been propping up the opera house with £1m of council tax money, and I think they gave £5m this year.
“But down in North Kensington where we live, Maxilla Nursery is being closed down because they say we don’t have the money.
“So they have the money to support their opera but not enough money to keep children centres open, and we don’t think that it’s right.”
Around 50 people met for the march, which started outside Westway Trust - which has received criticism for its plans for the area - in Thorpe Road, before heading to the opera house.
A flyer put out before the Mock the Opera march urged the council to stop ‘squeezing our services'.
It said: “The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is making huge cuts to public services - since 2010 they have underspent on vital services by a shocking £83.7m.
“Social services are facing cuts, thousands have been cut from the homelessness prevention schemes and our beloved Maxilla Nursery and West Way Stables are under threat.
“The ‘richest borough in the universe’ tell us there is no money but continue to underwrite huge losses made by Holland Park Opera while sitting on obscene reserves of £280m.”
Speaking after the march, Eddie said: “The atmosphere there was really good, really positive. There was drumming and singing through a megaphone and dancing. It was a fun atmosphere.”
A spokesman for the Royal Borough said the protest was “confused and ill-informed” and that there was “no relationship between services and the opera season”.
She said: “OHP is a much-loved and highly praised institution. The British people do not expect to see their museums, galleries, orchestras and opera companies become extinct the moment there is an economic downturn.
“Instead they expect their governments, both national and local, to take sensible steps to ensure their preservation during lean years. That is precisely what has happened.
“The annual subsidy is being stopped but we are enabling OHP to become a viable independent company through a one-off use of reserves and through the support of private sponsors.”
She said the council was investing heavily in the North Kensington area, using the new £30m leisure centre and rebuilding of schools as examples.
She added: “It is certainly true that in common with every local authority, Kensington & Chelsea has lost a huge amount of government grant support but we have worked incredibly hard and very successfully to protect our residents from the impact of that.”