10-10-11: Opera Vivente Cancels Season
Opera Vivente, a chamber opera company that has presented staged productions for the past 13 years, has announced it is canceling its season. They were to have opened their season in a few weeks with a production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. That show, and the other two operas they had planned will not be produced.
Tom Hall spoke with Opera Vivente founder and artistic director John Bowen, who said the decision to cancel the season was the result of a “perfect storm” of financial problems, and that a key factor was the company’s inability to secure a lease for a new performance venue. Opera Vivente had hoped to establish a new home in the Maryland State Boychoir Center for the Arts in Mayfield. They had hoped to expand their audience and create new revenue streams with that new venue, and they had made financial projections based on being in the new venue. They had been in negotiations with the Maryland State Boychoir for nearly six months, but those negotiations broke down last month, and Opera Vivente found that the money they had spent planning that move and making the transition left them without enough funding to produce their season.
If you are an Opera Vivente ticket holder, you are not being offered a refund, but the company is in discussions with other arts organizations about honoring Opera Vivente tickets. They are not dissolving the corporation, as was the case with the Baltimore Opera Company, which closed in 2009. They hope to use the next 8 to 12 months to re-examine their situation, and decide how to move forward.
You can read Opera Vivente’s statement on their website.