The first broadcast of the current season — and the first for the company in four years — was of the October 21 opening performance of the new Francesca Zambello production of Salome, with Deborah Voigt in the title role.
A condition of the $2 million grant is that Lyric raise matching grants of $2 million from other sources to support the broadcasts. The Bucksbaum grant and matching funds guarantee the broadcasts at least through the 2011-12 season.
Lyric Opera's radio programming will reach a total audience of more than 20 million listeners annually through local broadcasts and nationally syndicated broadcasts available through other stations.
Richard P. Kiphart, Lyric's board president, said, "Lyric's broadcasts bring the best in international opera to a huge audience. Radio is instrumental in bringing new listeners to opera and will do much to enhance the international prestige of Lyric ... I am entirely confident that we can raise the additional $2 million to match the Bucksbaums' exceptional gift."
Matthew Bucksbaum, chairman of General Growth Properties (a real estate investment trust), has been a Lyric board member since 2004 and a regular subscriber and donor for more than a decade.