Earlier this year, a federal report recommended that the orchestra, which also plays for Australian Ballet, receive A$1.5 million to offset its A$1.2 million deficit. The majority of the funds were to come from the federal government, but they are contingent on A$225,000 from the state of New South Wales. Bob Debus, the New South Wales arts minister, has refused to release any funds until a review of Australian opera and ballet orchestras is finished in December.
Opera Australia CEO Adrian Collette told the Herald that the company cannot hire singers for 2007 until the funding is assured.
"I can see a time when we cannot put on performances if this is not resolved," he added.