Fresh tremors as US opera company cancels its last production

Fresh tremors as US opera company cancels its last production


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2014

Word from Indianapolis is they can’t afford next month’s Albert Herring. Cast members have been stood down. The company is said to be in financial difficulties after poor ticket sales. Let’s hope and pray it’s not the third crash this season in American opera.

indianapolis opera


  • G Ell says:

    It’s the tip of the iceberg. If the Metropolitan is troubled, surrounded as it is by a Wall St awash in money and as international capital/destination, small peanuts regional companies keep dropping like flies. No Schadenfreude motivating my comment.

  • sdReader says:

    Yes, the Met will be the big story this fall.

    Union negotiations will be slow, ferocious, and I believe they’ll go right up to the point where productions — starting with the season opener (is it Macbeth with Anna Netrebko?) — are threatened with cancellation.

    Or beyond. Not pleasant! And a cynic might say the board has all scenarios already figured out.

  • Roger Ohlsen says:

    Cancel the expensive new productions do concert perf instead on Sunday engage for tax cert. Have famous singers do recitals as fund raisers. C’mon simple is simple EGO IS THE ENEMY

  • Una Barry says:

    Perhaps they should have taken a leaf out of Opera North’s book and borrow their production – and Josephine Barstow as Billows, and over 70. Just superb.

  • San Francisco Classical Voice has listed some other North American opera companies falling by the wayside in recent years:

    Opera Hamilton, Ontario (January 2014)

    Opera San Antonio (2012)

    Opera Boston (2011)

    Lyric Opera of San Diego (2011)

    Cleveland Opera (2010)

    Spokane Opera (2010)

    Connecticut Opera (Hartford, 2009)

    Baltimore Opera (2008)

    Opera Pacific (Orange County, 2008)

    I notice the author also quotes one of my comments to SD about the San Diego Opera. See the whole article here:

  • No meaningful comparison can be drawn between the Met of San Francisco and medium or small regional US companies like Indy. The scale of operations, economics, fixed costs and artistic objectives is so vastly different that the companies in Indianapolis, Tulsa or Kansas City are not even in the same business as the Met or San Fran. The regional companies that know their audiences and are using their resources wisely have surely been impacted by the changes in the economic and cultural environment but are fundamentally sound. The disasters have occurred when smaller companies have tried to imitate the big guys with star artists, expensive productions and obscure programming.

    • Tulsa ranks 495th in the world for opera performances per year and Kansas 356th. Let’s just say these companies are prudent, indeed. They are starved into virtual inaction by lack of funding. The facade of fraud that is opera in America.