Portland Opera Reports Deficit, As Other Oregon Institutions Face Lean Times

Classic Arts News   Portland Opera Reports Deficit, As Other Oregon Institutions Face Lean Times
The Portland Opera has posted its first deficit in nine years.

The Oregonian reports that the $1 million shortfall came despite strong ticket sales for the 2005-06 season, which included Tosca, Nixon in China and Macbeth. Spokesman Jim Fullan told the paper he attributes the deficit, in part, to the fact the company was missing a development director for much of the season.

The deficit won't affect plans for the upcoming season, which includes Faust, Norma, The Flying Dutchman, and The Magic Flute, according to the paper.

In a separate article, The Oregonian reported that other local arts institutions are also feeling the pinch. The Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon Symphony each posted a six- or seven-figure deficit in the last two fiscal years. Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene also suffered large losses last year, with the usual suspects to blame: high costs, executive turnover, meager state support and tight competition for audiences and donor dollars.

Chris D'Arcy, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust, told the paper, "It's somewhat alarming. It's tough to raise money, and it's tough to attract an audience. We are at a crossroads in some respects."

Oregon Ballet Theatre also ran without a development director and lost an estimated $900,000 last year after finishing 2004 with a surplus of $238,000, according to the paper. Only the Portland Art Museum has bucked the trend, finishing the 2004 tax year with an $18.5 million surplus.

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