Lyric Opera of Chicago Posts $275,000 Surplus

Classic Arts News   Lyric Opera of Chicago Posts $275,000 Surplus
According to preliminary estimates, the Lyric Opera of Chicago will post a surplus of $275,000 for 2004-05, its 50th-anniversary year, on a budget of $58.2 million.

The company has finished in the black for 17 of the last 18 years. In 2003-04, the company posted a surplus of $700,000 after a deficit the previous year of $1.1 million.

William Mason, the Lyric's general director announced the estimated surplus at the company's annual meeting on May 16, along with the news that fundraising had topped $21.5 million—a record for the Lyric, which raised $14.5 last year—and that the company's production of the Ring cycle and its gala concert had sold at 100 percent of capacity.

Altogether, the season's 91 performances generated sales of more than 305,000 tickets. The company's Look to the Future campaign, which builds the Lyric's endowment, reached its $50 million target, partly due to its endowed-chair program.

"Lyric's 50th-anniversary season was exhilarating and rewarding for our audiences, our generous supporters, and everyone who worked so hard onstage, backstage, and throughout the administrative offices," Mason said.

The Lyric's annual meeting also featured a performance by mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and the presentation of the Carol Fox Award to James W. Cozad, Lyric co-chair emeritus.

The company's audited financial statements will be completed in late August.

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