Money Woes Compel Atlanta Opera to Cut One Production from Season

Classic Arts News   Money Woes Compel Atlanta Opera to Cut One Production from Season
Budget problems have forced the Atlanta Opera to cancel a production of Handel's Orlando scheduled for the 2006-07 season, reports The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Orlando, which was scheduled for May 3, 5 and 6 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, will be replaced by a one-night concert of operatic highlights. The five singers contracted to sing Orlando, including mezzo Vivica Genaux, will sing various arias instead.

The company also plans to scale back its annual productions from four to three in future seasons and to sell its headquarters building in central Atlanta for $4 million, according to the paper.

Opera Atlanta's debt is currently $2.8 million — or half its total budget, according to the paper. In April, company board president Greg Johnson had sent a letter to his board members warning that if the books weren't balanced by June 30, upcoming productions might be curtailed.

The Atlanta Opera announced in May that it would be moving from the Civic Center, where it has performed since October 2003, to the Cobb Performing Arts Center in suburban Cobb County in the fall of 2007. According to the Journal Constitution, opera administrators hope the move will restore box office sales and donations, which have dropped recently.

The newspaper also quotes Opera America president Marc Scorca as saying that this will be the first time that an American opera company has left a central city entirely to perform in a suburb.

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