Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baltimore Opera Co. to file for bankruptcy, cancels remainder of season

After 58 years and more than 200 productions, the Baltimore Opera Company will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection Tuesday amid dwindling ticket sales and contributions.

The remaining two productions of the 2008-2009 season, Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, have been canceled. Ticket-holders will not receive refunds. Singers engaged for next season are being released from their contracts, but the company plans to continue fundraising in an effort to resume productions in the future.

Deborah Goetz, senior director of marketing and communications, confirmed Monday that Baltimore Opera's board of trustees voted Dec. 4 to file for Chapter 11 protection.

"My heart sinks," said soprano Evelyn Lear, now retired and living in Rockville. She starred in three Baltimore Opera productions during the 1970s and 1980s. "The company had high standards, good productions, a good orchestra. I'm distraught that this may mean that opera is finished in Baltimore." more