Sunday, August 8, 2010

WA National Opera's loss could be the MET's gain

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Metropolitan Opera may find themselves a little richer in the near future. From the WSJ:
The Metropolitan Opera could find itself the unexpected beneficiary of a multimillion-dollar gift under the unusual terms of a Washington, D.C., heiress's donation, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Betty Brown Casey's donations to the Washington National Opera's endowment came with a stipulation: Should that company fail to remain independent, the funds would be rescinded—and transferred to the Met.

That day could be on the horizon: The National Opera is in merger talks with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

According to a person familiar with the matter, donations made by Mrs. Casey, the National Opera's life chairman, constitute between one-half and two-thirds of the National Opera's total endowment, which was $30.5 million at the end of its 2009 fiscal year. That would make the amount of the Met's potential windfall between $15 million and $20 million.

A lawyer for Mrs. Casey, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., referring to the opera, said: "I'm confident that they will abide by their written agreements."
[Photo: courtesy of the Associated Press.]

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