Doncaster Council accused of 'squandering' £7,000 on Pavarotti classic Nessun Dorma as hold music

Doncaster Council has been accused of squandering thousands of pounds – by forking out to use Luciano Pavarotti classic Nessun Dorma as hold music.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 10:14 am

According to national reports, the authority was one of the biggest spenders, splashing £7,000 over the last five years to play classical anthems down the phone as residents were put on hold while awaiting speaking to various council departments.

The investigation by MailOnline said that callers were met with tunes on The Ultimate Classic FM album, which includes iconic anthems such as Nessun Dorma.

The track gained global attention in 1990 when the BBC used a version by Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti for its coverage of that year’s World Cup.

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Since, it has become one of Britain’s best loved classical music pieces, gaining further attention when former phone salesman Paul Potts belted out a a stunning rendition on Britain’s Got Talent. The version on the Classic FM album is by Alfie Boe.

It said Doncaster Council did not respond to request for comment.

The report said many local authorities use royalty-free music or tunes included in overall telephone contracts to punctuate silence when taxpayers ring up to discuss issues like bin collections and planning.

But it also found that some town halls are shelling out big bucks to pipe pop anthems down the phone lines such as Toto's Africa, Shine by Take That and Band Aid classic Do They Know It's Christmas?

Nessun Dorma was made famous by the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. (Photo: Getty).

Classics by Vivaldi and Mozart are also popular choices while residents wait to speak to an operator.

Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Taxpayers will be appalled that councils are wasting their hard-earned money on hold music when there are plenty of free options available.

'Residents expect their cash to be spent on essential frontline services, not squandered on expensive songs.

'Local authorities should be ensuring calls get answered rather than wondering how to entertain the ratepayers they leave hanging on the telephone.'

The biggest spenders of the authorities that responded to a Freedom of Information request was Clackmannanshire Council in Scotland, which has spent more than £20,000 over the last five years for the rights to Take That's Shine, All The Lovers by Kylie Minogue, the orchestral theme tune version of You Only Live Twice and Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas?