The price of the best seats at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, will rise to about $170 each when Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo sing there next season, general director Jeremy Isaacs says.

"We either charge these prices or we go out of business," Isaacs told a news conference Wednesday.He said performance standards at one of the world's leading opera houses need to be improved at a time of falling government subisidy. Next year's subsidy is $23.6 million - 40 percent of the Royal Opera's income and down from 60 percent five years ago.