Opera Colorado Launches $1.2M Fundraising Campaign

Opera Colorado has launched a $1.2 million fundraising campaign to raise funds to ensure its two remaining productions in the 2013 season continue as planned and to assist with the reorganization plan. The Opera's Board has led the charge, pledging to match the first $350,000 that is raised dollar for dollar by the campaign's completion date of March 30th, 2013. The campaign, called "Stories that Sing: Be a Voice for Opera Colorado," will be comprised of a series of public and private fundraising events over the next two months. Individuals can also contribute at any upcoming Opera Coloradoperformance or via the Opera's website at operacolorado.org/support. A vital part of Denver's cultural ecology, Opera Colorado celebrates its 30th season this year.

Earlier this month, the Opera announced that the company is embarking on a restructuring plan that will allow the Opera to continue its commitment to bringing exceptional programming and educational resources to Colorado, while stabilizing the company for the future. Opera Colorado will undergo a reorganization of its operating procedures that includes moving to a two-production season for 2013 and 2014.

"The response we have received from the Colorado community has been overwhelmingly positive so far," said General Director Greg Carpenter. "The number one way for people to help us is to donate to our campaign. We are grateful to our board for their matching grant pledge and we hope that their leadership will inspire others to rise to the occasion and give generously. Completing this campaign is essential to ensure that Opera Colorado remains a vital part of our community for many years to come."

The $1.2 million fundraising campaign will allow Opera Colorado to continue operations in 2013, during which time they will reorganize for maximum efficiency, while continuing to provide high quality performances and education resources for Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. The reorganization necessitates postponing the professional premiere of the new American opera The Scarlet Letter by composer Lori Laitman and librettist David Mason until the 2015 season in order to give the Company time to stabilize and raise the funds necessary to stage a full-scale premiere of the work as it has been envisioned.

"The Board of Directors is committed to shepherding Opera Colorado successfully through this tough time and we hope that our collective pledge will encourage others in the community to step forward and donate," noted Board Chair Michael Hughes. "The opera, along with the symphony, ballet, and art museums, is an integral part of what makes Denver such a vibrant city, and we are counting on the community's support to ensure the arts thrive well into the future."

Opera Colorado has a history of careful stewardship and fiscal responsibility and had previously balanced its budget each year for the majority of its 30 year history. The Company incurred an operating deficit in 2012 due to lower than anticipated ticket sales and fundraising shortfalls, and the reorganization is a preventative measure to help stabilize the Company for future growth. The Company's reorganization includes a combination of cutting current expenses-including operating overhead and looking for staffing efficiencies-and fundraising for future performances.

In addition to its mainstage productions of Romeo and Juliet and Don Giovanni during the 2013 season, Opera Colorado will continue its Young Artists residency program, as well as a variety of other education and outreach initiatives which reach more than 35,000 community members annually.

To "Be a Voice for Opera Colorado," go to operacolorado.org/support

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