Friday, April 17, 2009

The Drama Drop -

The current economic downturn has taken many industries on an unwanted roller-coaster ride. The Arts have certainly not been immune - it continues to boggle the mind, really. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seat belt - here we go:

* Not surprisingly, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has decided to cancel it's tour of Europe slated for 2010. The BSO responded to an inquiry made by The Boston Globe with this comment:
"As a consequence of the economic downturn and resulting uncertainty, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has canceled its European tour planned for February 2010, and will not resume international touring activity until a recovery is well under way. While we are disappointed to take this action, we believe that focusing our resources and energies on our core constituencies in Boston, Tanglewood, and New York is the appropriate course in these challenging times."

* Orlando Opera Company, one of the oldest arts groups in Central Florida, will suspend operations April 30. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the 51-year-old company is a victim of reduced contributions and defaults on pledges as well as lower ticket sales, said Jim Ireland, the company’s president and CEO. The company's press release points to the following:
Board Chair Joy Barrett Sabol said: "We undertook two major fund drives in recent years, the first in our 50th Anniversary and recently the "Carry The Voice" effort, which hoped to raise $500,000 to take the company forward; however, the lack of broad community support indicates that a resident professional opera company is not a priority of Orlando in these difficult times . . . this, irrespective of very fine productions and favorable reviews, particularly for the just-completed 2008-09 season."

* The good news just keeps coming... According to the Concord Monitor the proverbial fat lady has sung at Granite State Opera.

Come on guys, you couldn't have come up with a better line than that? What about: "The proverbial fat lady is UNEMPLOYED?"

Anyway, Granite State Opera announced last week that it is closing its doors after 10 years, citing the economic drought that has also forced the closure of opera companies such as Baltimore Opera, Connecticut Opera, Orlando Opera and Opera Pacific, not to mention dozens of other arts organizations across the country. Even The Metropolitan Opera has had to cut back on its productions. "It's a really outrageously tough year," said Philip Lauriat, director of Granite State Opera, which staged two operas each year at the Capitol Center for the Arts and the Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "Our audiences have been good, our reviews have been really terrific, but tickets don't cover half of our costs... For us to be able to put on an opera, it's pretty close to $150,000. We didn't see any way to raise that in this current economy."

Hey, fat lady, welcome to the unemployment line.

[Photos - Right: BSO in concert. AP. Left: Show Poster from Granite State Opera.]

1 comment:

Christin-Marie said...

Um... I was just looking curiously at the BSO article only to realize that it's actually ME next to Anne Sofie in that pic. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life. So sad about the tour :(

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