Broken: US opera is scrapped after its founder’s death

The sudden death of Mark Richter, founder of Alamo City Opera in San Antonio, has prompted the board to shut down his creation.

“We had several options, and this was the one that was viable and really retains his legacy because he had that incredible imagination and powerful talent that a lot of people don’t have,” said Carol Karotkin, chairwoman of the board.

Er, what???

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  • Larry says:

    What an incredibly stupid comment from her. The way to “really retain” Mark’s legacy would be to grow and build the company and make it as successful as possible. How stupid!

    It reminds of a famous quote from Mark Twain. I don’t know the full story but, apparently he had some problem with a school board. Twain said: “In the beginning, God created idiots. That was for practice. Then, he created school boards.”

    Norman, if you substitute “arts” boards, for “school” boards, that says it all about how American performing arts organizations are run.

    Mark was my friend. The board’s action is disgraceful.

  • Ned Keene says:

    A cowardly and lazy option.

  • Robert Groen says:

    With you here, Norman. What kind of a eulogy was that?

  • Jaime Herrera says:

    Well, the Board giveth and the Board taketh away. It just appears rather odd.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    ” ‘We had several options, and this was the one that was viable and really retains his legacy because he had that incredible imagination and powerful talent that a lot of people don’t have,’ said Carol Karotkin, chairwoman of the board.”
    Huh? “Retains his legacy” ?? By scrapping his creation ???
    Seems to me from the article at the MySA link that the bailout was pretty darned quick and dried.
    What happens now to the singers, orchestra, crew, and rest of the staff?
    I’d like to hear more about this, Norman. Something is rotten in the state of Texas.
    (Yeah, apart from all of that other stuff.)
    Keep on it, NL, per favore.

  • Sharon says:

    Probably means that without his presence they expected fund raising to be more difficult and no one else was willing to do the work or take a chance.

  • Anthony says:

    I had the honor of being the Music Director of the Lyric Opera of San Antonio for 5 seasons. This was the company that Mark founded prior to Alamo Opera. Mark was a good man who worked so hard to keep opera alive in San Antonio. Alamo Opera was the third company (at least) that Mark founded in the city.

    I have often said to people that without Mark Richter, there would be no opera in San Antonio. While at the time I was well aware of the hyperbolic nature of that statement, I am sad to see that it may have also been prophetic.

    Perhaps opera companies come and go. So to, the men who found them. San Antonio was richer for the presence of Mark Richter. Rest in peace my friend. You fought the good fight.

  • Larry says:

    San Antonio does have another opera company
    http://www.operasa.org – this is a relatively new company which, ironically, was formed after Mark’s previous company, Lyric Opera of San Antonio, closed after almost 20 years of operation.

    When you combine this mess with the long-running problems at the San Antonio Symphony, it’s a wonder that America’s seventh largest city has any music at all!

    • Anon! A Moose! says:

      It does seem their captains of industry and socialites are lazy AF. You’re on a board. Chances are you weren’t appointed to the board because you hate the thing and want to shut it down. So fulfill your obligation.

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