Opera News

November 21, 2005


Manitoba Opera today announced that it has reached a 13-year high in subscription ticket sales this season and has increased its subscription base by 28% over last year. There are currently 3,293 subscribers. The last time there were over 3,000 subscribers was the 1992/93 season which had 3,134 patrons subscribing.

“We’re delighted that so many new people have joined us as subscribers this season,” commented Larry Desrochers, General Director & CEO. “We had anticipated that the programming would be appealing to both seasoned and new opera goers, but the subscription rate exceeded even our expectations.”

Manitoba Opera (MO) recently launched the 2005/06 season with a critically acclaimed production of Puccini’s eternal favourite, La Bohème (October 29, November 1, & 4) at the Centennial Concert Hall which played to two sold-out houses and had an overall attendance rate(subscription and casual tickets) of 95%.

“With such a great season programmed, patrons who knew they'd want to attend both productions chose to take advantage of the savings and other benefits a subscription offers, rather than pay more for a casual seat,” said Darlene Ronald, Marketing Manager. “This increase has certainly provided a significant boost to our audience re-building efforts.”

Manitoba Opera’s subscription base had reached an all-time high of 4,200 in the 1990/91 season.

“Our subscription and casual ticket sales this season are certainly an indication that there is a desire for opera in this community,” commented Peter George, President of the MO Board of Directors. “As we continue to build on this support, our next task is to eliminate the company’s long-term debt, and we look forward to working with the private sector and government to achieve this goal in the coming months.”

Although the organization has maintained a balanced budget for the past five consecutive years, it currently has an accumulated deficit of $586,886, which had reached $630,000 by year ending June 30, 2000.

Manitoba Opera will next present a one-night concert event: Stories That Sing on February 25, 2006, featuring host Stuart Hamilton, soprano Agathe Martel, mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell, tenor Kurt Lehmann, and baritone John Fanning. They will be joined by the Manitoba Opera Chorus and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tyrone Paterson, MO’s Music Advisor and Principal Conductor.

The season closes with Mozart’s glorious comic tour-de-force The Marriage of Figaro April 15, 18, and 21, 2006, starring lyric baritone Russell Braun, soprano Carol Wilson, soprano Kathleen Brett , bass-baritone Kristopher Irmiter, bass Gregory Atkinson, and mezzo-soprano Michelle Sutton. The show will be directed by former Winnipegger, Michael Cavanagh and be conducted by James Meena, General Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Carolina.

Casual tickets: All Ticketmaster outlets, by phone (204) 253-2787 (Ticketmaster Arts Line), or online at www.ticketmaster.ca. Casual ticket prices are $29 to $84 including GST, Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall surcharge, and the Ticketmaster service charge.


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


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