This press release just arrived from Opera Lyra in Ottawa:
Opera Lyra Ottawa (OLO) announced today that, despite presenting two artistically acclaimed productions earlier this fall, it has cancelled the two remaining productions of its 2011-2012 season due to a lack of financial resources. The company said it is reorganizing its operations to emerge in a stronger financial position next season.
Opera Lyra will return for its 28th season with a main stage presentation of La Bohème in Sept. 2012, and La Traviata in concert in March 2013.
"Since the economic downturn in 2008, we have had three consecutive years of severe financial challenges and simply do not have the funds available for these two productions," said Malcolm McCulloch, Chair of Opera Lyra's Board of Directors. "Opera Lyra is acknowledged as one of Canada's foremost opera companies, but our subscriptions, single-ticket sales and private sponsorships have nevertheless declined significantly."
The cancelled productions are The Flying Dutchman in concert, scheduled for February 29, 2012, and Tosca, scheduled for March 31 and April, 2, 4 and 7, 2012. OLO is doing this now to be fair to the artists, production staff, and everyone affected by the decision.
McCulloch emphasized the productions were cancelled only after other administrative and production cost-cutting measures were taken. "This was a very difficult decision, but one that is necessary to ensure we can continue providing the community with the highest-quality opera in the future," he said. "We want to thank our donors and subscribers for their ongoing support and understanding as we deal with these financial pressures, which many other performing arts groups are also facing."
All ticket holders will be contacted by Opera Lyra within the next two weeks by mail with details about their options, including ticket exchanges and refunds.
Opera Lyra expects to continue its support of emerging opera singers and its initiative to introduce students to opera through a yearly children's production that tours elementary schools. Opera Lyra will also be launching a new outreach program aimed at the same young audiences in the spring of 2012. More information about Opera Lyra's plans will be available in the near future.
Opera Lyra is dedicated to the music and adventure that is opera. The company presents first-class main stage productions, showcasing top Canadian and international talent. It inspires and educates young audiences through its Young People's outreach programs.
For more information about Opera Lyra Ottawa, please visit the website www.operalyra.ca