Opera News

September 1, 2005


For the fifth consecutive year, Manitoba Opera has balanced its budget. Peter George, President of the Manitoba Opera (MO) Board of Directors announced last night at the organization’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Winnipeg, that for the year ending June 30, 2005, a surplus of $2,201 was posted on a budget of $1,296, 641.

“The board, staff, and I are very pleased with this year’s financial outcome,” stated Mr. George, who begins his second year as president. “Everyone associated with this organization has been diligent in their efforts to re-establish community support and interest at all levels, and it is critical to our renaissance that we are able to remain financially stable. This foundation has to continue to grow and solidify so that we can realize our goals of eliminating the debt, returning to a three-production season, and expanding the range of works we present.”

Subscriptions were up 15% over 2004 for a total of 2,563 subscribers. This is the largest number of subscribers the organization has had since the 1995/96 season. For the upcoming season, subscriptions are also tracking positively with 356 more subscribers than at the same time last year. Although casual ticket sales for the year were down by 8%, fundraising increased by 12% over 2004.

“This has been another great year for Manitoba Opera. I was very proud of both our productions. Gaétan Laperrière led an exceptionally strong cast with Rigoletto, which was our season opener and The Elixir of Love was the most fun I’ve had in the theatre in a long time. Winnipeg’s Ann Hodges did a fantastic job staging her first opera. It was charming, delightful and very funny and rising young star coloratura soprano Nikki Einfeld, also a Winnipeg native, did a phenomenal job in her debut in a lead role,” commented Larry Desrochers, General Manager and CEO. “Our concert presentation last February, An Evening in Paris, was another highlight and continues to be an excellent vehicle in which to introduce people to opera.”

An accumulated deficit of $586,886 will be carried into the 2005/06 season. The accumulated deficit had reached $630,000 by year ending June 30, 2000.

The 2005/06 Board of Directors was also announced at the AGM. Members are Peter George (President), Leander Dueck, Charles Hebert, Nick Pizzi, Alex Robinson, Leigh Taylor (Past President), Robert Vineberg, Ruth Waters, Elden Wittmier, and Susan Wood. New board members are Mario Audino, Executive Director of the Caboto Centre and Sybil Stokoloff, Manitoba Transplant Program Organ Donor Awareness Coordinator. Billie Stewart and Louis (Bud) Sherman are retiring from the board.

2005/06 Season
The 2005/06 season will open with Puccini’s coming-of-age tale La Bohème October 29, November 1 and 4, 2005. Stories that Sing, a concert event Saturday, February 25, 2006 showcasing some of the great works of opera, will be conducted by Tyrone Paterson, MO’s Music Advisor and Principal Conductor. The season will conclude with Mozart’s comic tour-de-force The Marriage of Figaro starring internationally acclaimed Canadian baritone Russell Braun in his Manitoba Opera debut April 15, 18, and 21, 2006.

Subscriptions for as low as $40 and season brochures are available by calling 957-7842. Casual tickets will be on sale beginning Monday, September 19 through Ticketmaster on their new Arts line: 253-ARTS (2787) or at www.ticketmaster.ca.


For more information: Darlene Ronald (204)255-0508 dronald84@shaw.ca.


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