Scot leaves £4.5m to Metropolitan Opera

A Scottish widow who made £10 million on the stock market has bequeathed £4.5 million to the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. Mona Webster, who died on 27 August aged 96, also left £100,000 to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and a substantial donation to a charity for birds. Her will was made public last week.

Webster was a great enthusiast of opera and fell in love with Metropolitan Opera through its Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts. The fundraising office was in regular contact with her since 2000, sending her books and LPs, since she did not own a CD or DVD player.

Before she died, Webster promised Metropolitan Opera a large donation, but no-one expected such a large sum. Even those closest to her did not realise the full extent of her wealth.

Mona Webster was also passionate about birds, and left around £4.4 million to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. She travelled around the world bird watching and recorded more than 5500 species. She also left £100,000 to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.