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article imageOpera Boston sings its final aria

By Jacki Viles     Dec 26, 2011 in Entertainment
Boston - The Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston MA, will go dark on Jan. 1 as Opera Boston closes its doors for good. This jaw-dropping news came mid-season and right before Christmas.
Board chairman Winifred Gray and president Gregory Bulger, issued a statement indicating "an insurmountable budget deficit" of $500,000 and will cease operations on Jan. 1, 2012.
With the completion of their first offering of the season, Béatrice et Bénédict behind them, it leaves the remaining two performances grounded as the second largest city opera house closes mid season.
Opera Boston opened its doors in 2003 and has built a reputation for tackling ambitious projects and prided itself on highlighting the lesser known, off-the-beaten-path performances. Offering affordable ticket pricing, they ran on a painfully small budget (under $3 million). They still managed to lure Lesley Koenig as general director, just this past year. Ms. Koenig is the former stage director of the Metropolitan Opera and spent 6 years as general manager of the San Francisco Ballet.
In 2010, the opera house commissioned its first opera, Madame White Snake. This earned composer, Zhou Long the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Enthusiasm and talent do not pay the bills. As is the case with most of the performance arts venues these days, it is money that keeps the doors open. The standard revenue sources such as fund raising, endowments and grants are drying up as the nationwide economic problems worsen. Opera houses, ballet companies and local theatre companies are hanging on wondering if they are next.
At this time, the web site for Opera Boston has no announcements regarding its closure or what is to be the fate of season ticket holders. Their Facebook page has no official statements but many fans have left posts wishing them well and expressing sadness.
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