BJORK IN THE ARIA?

Other stars tipped to play at the cash-strapped venue include Sir Elton John - but his pal Eminem will not be welcome...

LONDON’s ROYAL OPERA HOUSE looks set to throw open its doors to pop and rock performances for the first time, with BJORK in talks to kick things off in September.

According to the Sunday Times, the Icelandic superstar intends to set her forthcoming album, ‘Vespertine’, to a 60-piece orchestra and a 30-strong children’s choir for the show.

Other stars have been pin-pointed as future performers at the cash-strapped venue, amongst them Sir Elton John and Barbra Streisand. The Sunday Times quotes sources saying Eminem would not be welcome. Each of the shows would take place on a Sunday night, a rest day for ballet and opera companies.

The Royal Opera House has come under a volley of criticism since a £200 million refit, completed at the end of 1999. At least £80 million of the money came from the National Lottery Grants. It is felt by many that hosting contemporary artists for the first time is the only way to recoup the cash.

David Levy, Bjork‘s tour agent, said: “She intends to explore new depths of meaning in her work. It will be worthy of the venue.” The star is said to have already been accepted by opera houses in Europe, North America and Australia.

Bjork will release ‘Vespertine’ at the end of August.