The San Antonio Opera is set to file for liquidation bankruptcy within the next 20 days. Undergoing financial distress for years now, it also faces a lawsuit from the American Federation of Musicians for alleged non-payment.
In January, the San Antonio Opera Board of Directors announced in a news release it had cancelled the stage productions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” The operas were put on hiatus as the company decided to address its financial obligations with creditors.
The opera company is now set to file for liquidation bankruptcy in the next 20 days. It will file as soon as it receives documents to notify season subscribers and musicians, who will become claimants in the bankruptcy claim. It has no assets and no staff.
As the company undergoes a monetary downfall, it is also facing a lawsuit from the American Federation of Musicians, which accuses it of non-payment from a cancelled production in January of 2010. The lawsuit is also expected to become part of the bankruptcy claim.
“We had offered San Antonio Opera a role as a resident company of the Tobin Center, but it has fallen on hard times,” said J. Bruce Bigg, president and chairman of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation, in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. “Opera Theater San Antonio has been in organization the last 18 months. We're hoping for Opera Theater San Antonio to scale up to and to qualify to be the resident opera company.”
It began its 16th season, but the Los Angeles Times notes that it started to experience problems when Mark Richter, founder and artistic director, and his interim successor left two months later when the company could not give out paychecks.
Opera Theater San Antonio is facing huge success, though. The opera company is planning to stage its first gala in 2013 with the San Antonio Symphony and present its first opera in 2015 at the grand opening of the Tobin Center of the Performing Arts.
San Antonio isn’t the first city to experience setbacks with its opera companies. Digital Journal has reported of the many cities in the United States and Canada, such as Boston, Vancouver, Seattle and New York City, that are seeing not only opera group shutting down, but also symphony orchestras.