The company already cut six Nutcracker performances from its schedule earlier this summer, when it passed the 2005-06 budget. The company claimed that the balanced budget eliminated its $1 million debt.
Now, in order to further cut expenses, five more performances have been cut, from the scheduled 17.
E. Jeanne Gleason, the company's board chair, said, "We had a working session over the weekend with Tom Harris, our consultant, and after much discussion, it was determined that it would be wise to consolidate our Nutcrackers."
Gleason said that one reason for the cancellations was that the Nutcracker was scheduled after the Radio City Christmas performances in Pittsburgh, and ticket sales would therefore suffer.
In early August, the company announced it would eliminate its live orchestra for the 2005-06 season, in order to save around $551,000.
Musician Cynthia Anderson, chair of the orchestra committee, wondered if the Nutcracker cancellations were related to slow subscription and ticket sales due to the announcement that the orchestra was being replaced with recorded music.
She asked, "Is this evidence of a stronger public reaction against their decision than they are willing to admit?"