Opera Colorado to Reorganize, Present Two-Production Seasons in 2013, 2014
Opera Colorado announced today 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. It has also launched a $1.2 million fundraising campaign to raise funds to both pay down the Opera's existing debt and to ensure its two remaining productions in the 2013 season continue as planned, with a goal of completion by March 30th, 2013. A vital part of Denver's cultural ecology, Opera Colorado celebrates its 30th season this year.
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.
"Opera Colorado has experienced a series of unfortunate events that have left us in a financial situation where we need to take stock and make some changes so that we can continue to operate with artistic integrity and fiscal responsibility," noted General Director Greg Carpenter. "Taking these steps now will help Opera Colorado remain a vital part of our community for many years to come and this process will ensure a strong financial footing so we may honor our longstanding commitment."
The $1.2 million fundraising campaign will allow Opera Colorado to sustain a two-production season in 2013, during which time the Company will reorganize to be more efficient while still maintaining the quality of its opera performances and educational programs and its commitment to 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 Opera Colorado time to stabilize and raise the funds necessary to stage this premiere as it has been envisioned. The Opera has also re-structured its staff as part of this process.
"The Board of Directors is committed to seeing Opera Colorado successfully through this tough time and we have the utmost faith in the stewardship and inspiring leadership of Greg Carpenter," noted Board Chair Michael Hughes. "Greg's fundraising background will be an incredible asset as we prepare for the future and our 'Sustainable Future' campaign is already off to a wonderful start, with the board leading the charge. The opera, along with the symphony, ballet, and art museums, is an integral part of what makes Denver such a vibrant city, and we need the community's support to ensure the arts thrive well into the future."
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.
"It's unfortunate that we have to postpone the premiere of The Scarlet Letter," noted Greg Carpenter. "However, I am confident that our plan for the future will create a stronger business model, thereby enabling us to fulfill our commitment to this important American work and to our community."
Opera Colorado's ticket office will be contacting all ticket holders by both regular mail and email regarding the postponement of The Scarlet Letter. Ticket holders will have the option to exchange tickets for another Opera Colorado performance, to request a refund, or to donate the cost of the tickets to Opera Colorado in exchange for a tax deduction.
A cornerstone of Denver's cultural community, Opera Colorado presents operas annually at its downtown Denver home, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Company presents new works alongside standard repertoire, and reaches more than 35,000 students and community members throughout the Rocky Mountain region through a variety of education and outreach programming. Opera Colorado Young Artists, a seven-month residency for singers at the beginning stages of their careers, provides training for the next generation of American opera performers. Founded in 1983, the Company celebrates its 30th anniversary season in 2013 with a new production of Charles Gounod's Romeo and Juliet (February 9-17) and Mozart's Don Giovanni (March 30-April 7). For more info, go to www.operacolorado.org.