New South Wales Assents to Australian Government's Request for Orchestra Funds, Ending Impasse

Classic Arts News   New South Wales Assents to Australian Government's Request for Orchestra Funds, Ending Impasse
 
The government of New South Wales will give the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra A$225,000, which will enable the ensemble to collect an additional A$1.3 million from the federal government, the Australian reports.

The ensemble is the pit orchestra for Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet.

Collection of the federal funds was contingent upon the support of the state government, which until today was not forthcoming. According to the Australian, the agreement of the NSW government to pay the subsidy ends a long stalemate between the federal and state governments, one that threatened the financial viability of Opera Australia.

The NSW government had argued that since Opera Australia was profitable in Sydney but lost money with its Melbourne performances, the government in Victoria should make the subsidy.

Today, NSW arts minister Bob Debus said that the government would release the required funds "to resolve a funding crisis that threatened Opera Australia's future operations." Debus said, however, that the government would not commit any further funding to the orchestra.

A report, commissioned by Australia's federal government from former Qantas executive James Strong, recommended the government give A$1.5 million to the orchestra, which was suffering a deficit of A$1 million.


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