VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) _ Proud of their city's tea-and-crumpet image, some proper Victorians are upset by the local opera group's decision to stage ''The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.''

It's not the show, it's the title of the musical comedy that has some residents of the provincial capital unhappy, especially when it's emblazoned on a 30-foot banner stretched across the city's main street.

When the city erected the banner on Monday, the Victoria Operatic Society and City Hall got a few telephone calls, including bus driver who said the banner upset his passengers.

City Manager Jim Bramley said he doubts the banner will be removed.

One business canceled its half-page ad in the theater program because of the word whorehouse, opera society President Holly McGimpsey said. And a radio station has blipped the offending word from its ad spots.

Ms. McGimpsey said other local theater companies have put on ''worse things,'' some of which included nudity.

Advance ticket sales, meanwhile, have hit a society record of $20,000 and some performances have sold out a month before the first curtain rises.