US opera company goes bankrupt

US opera company goes bankrupt


norman lebrecht

March 09, 2017

Fresno Grand Opera, which is in all sorts of trouble, has cancelled the rest of the season and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

More here.


  • V.Lind says:

    I read through everything on this. It does not seem a very “grand” opera company, though the modern efforts, Our Town and Of Mice and Men are doubtless worthy. But this is perhaps somewhere that a few Carmens and Toscas would not go amiss.

    Always sad to see a cultural endeavour close its doors, but if your major stars are Andrea Bocelli and Kristin Chenoweth, it’s certainly not the grand opera world that is losing out.

  • jaxon says:

    I’m glad this blog gets so much mileage out of reporting the goings on at minor, part-time, semi-professional arts organizations in fourth- and fifth-tier cities around the world.

    • William Osborne says:

      Fresno’s population is 494,665. Any European city that size would have a major opera house — i.e. full time, year round. The population of California is the same as Poland’s and close to Spain’s, but it does not have even one full time opera.

      San Francisco is the only major house, and it has a 5 month season. Los Angeles has the 3rd largest metro GDP in the world but ranks 133rd for opera performances per year. If California had the same number of full time opera houses per capita as Germany, it would have 38. The American opera world hides the abysmal condition of opera in America with a fraudulent facade. No one speaks about the truth.

      • jaxon says:

        Oh yes, I forgot, the hobbyhorse of how many opera performances occur in any city in a given year. The notion that California has no full-time opera companies is absurd. But then, so much of what gets said on this blog is absurd.

        • William Osborne says:

          The above comment is a good example of American delusions and how the people are brainwashed. They have no idea of about the reality of what is happening. The longest season in California is in San Francisco and is 5 months. One of the bizarre aspects of this is that the company even calculates the length of the season to be short enough to enable the musicians to collect unemployment after the season ends. The NYC Ballet does the same thing for its orchestra. Only in America.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Yes, English cities with a population of 494,000, such as Portsmouth, Leicester, Bournemouth, Sheffield, Brighton and Bristol all have major full time opera companies.

  • Oliver says:

    Small, community level organizations like this, and the one in Modesto (as well as the Modesto and Stockton orchestras made up mostly of Bay area musicians who are paid to save locals the trouble of a commute to hear live classical music) need to operate as such, which means small budgets and modest expectations. It would be great if we all had a happening cultural scene in our backyard, but few are willing to pay/fund major league prices for minor league results.

  • Duane Hansen says:

    I just want the money Fresno Grand Opera owes my company.