Opera News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2006

6TH CONSECUTIVE BALANCED BUDGET
FOR MANITOBA OPERA
CAPS STELLAR 2005/06 SEASON

For the sixth consecutive season, Manitoba Opera has balanced its budget. Peter George, President of the Manitoba Opera (MO) Board of Directors today announced at the organization's Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Winnipeg, that for the year ending June 30, 2006, a surplus of $2,829 was posted on a budget of $1,541,964.

The announcement caps a stellar season which boasted a 96% overall attendance, the highest number of subscribers in 13 years (3,293), and outstanding, critically acclaimed performances by renowned artists including Russell Braun (Count Almaviva), Carol Wilson (Countess Almaviva), Kathleen Brett (Susanna), Kristopher Irmiter (Figaro) from The Marriage of Figaro; Janinah Burnett (Mimi) and Monica Huisman (Musetta) from La Bohème; and Agathe Martel and John Fanning, guest artists at our mid-season concert event, Stories That Sing.

"We couldn't have asked for a better season - full houses, incredible artists in stunning productions supported by our outstanding chorus and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra - it was definitely one of Manitoba Opera's strongest and most memorable seasons," commented Larry Desrochers, General Director and CEO. "Our production of The Marriage of Figaro was superb, and we've have many people comment that it was one of the best productions of this opera they've seen anywhere in the world. I think we've set a new artistic standard for the company."

Manitoba Opera also entered into a debt reduction agreement with the Province of Manitoba in which every dollar raised form the private sector or other sources up to $300,000 prior to March 31, 2008 will be matched by the Province. As of June 30, 2006, there was $43,195 in debt reduction monies matched by the government. As a result, the accumulated deficit was further reduced by $86,390 to $497,357. Manitoba Opera's accumulated deficit had reached $630,000 in 2001 before the company began a process of re-organization.

"This season saw some significant progress on many fronts - including debt elimination and fundraising - and I have to thank our tireless staff, our board, and many supporters for their hard work," said George. "It has been a team effort, and we have relied on everyone involved to move us forward. We are also very proud that we're one of only three or four Canadian opera companies that have balanced our operating budget for six consecutive seasons."

The 2006/07 Board of Directors was also announced at the AGM. Returning members: Peter George (President), Mario Audino, Sheila Bayda, Leander Dueck, Charles Hebert, Frederick D. (Rick) Mantey, Cindy Stevens, Sybil Stokoloff, Mariola Tomaszewska, Robert Vineberg, Ruth Waters, Elden Wittmier, and Susan Wood will be joined by new member, Jennifer Synder. Nick Pizzi, Alex Robinson, and Leigh Taylor are retiring from the board.

2006/07 Season
The 2006/07 season will feature two full-scale productions and a mid-season concert event. Strauss' sparkling, madcap operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) kicks off the 2006/07 season November 25, 28, and December 1. Mark Thomsen (Gabriel von Eisenstein), Robin Follman (Rosalinde), Nikki Einfeld (Adele), Gregory Dahl (Dr. Fahlke) and Norine Burgess (Prince Orlofsky) will star.

Belle Voci (Beautiful Voices), a concert celebrating the beauty of the voice in opera will be conducted by Maestro Daniel Lipton on Saturday, February 24, 2007. Guest artists: soprano Laura Whalen, mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva, tenor Roger Honeywell, and bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch will join the Manitoba Opera Chorus and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for this one-night event.

Verdi's crown jewel, Otello, will close the season April 21, 24, and 27, 2007. This co-production with Opera Lyra Ottawa will feature Mark Lundberg (Otello), John Fanning (Iago), Sally Dibblee (Desdemona), and Kurt Lehmann (Cassio). Both Die Fledermaus and Otello will be conducted by Manitoba Opera's Music Advisor and Principal Conductor, Tyrone Patterson.

Season subscriptions are available for as low as $42 with savings of up to 30% off the casual ticket price.To order, or to receive a season brochure, call 957-7842. Casual tickets will be on sale beginning Monday, September 18 through Ticketmaster, at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 253-ARTS (2787) or at www.ticketmaster.ca.

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

 


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