HUFFINGTON POST
12/27/2011 06:29 pm ET

Opera Boston Closed Due To Lack Of Funds

Opera Boston, a company known for its cutting-edge repertory, will shut down due to a $500,000 budget deficit.

The company -- Boston's second largest, next to the Boston Lyric Opera-- was founded in 2003. Since then, it has put on works including Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face, Daniel Pinkham's The Cask of Amontillado and recently, Zhou Long's opera "Madame White Snake" which won a Pulitzer Prize for music in 2011.

They presented Hector Berlioz's "Be'atrice and Be'ne'dict" in October and were scheduled to put on Michael Tippett's "The Midsummer Marriage" and Vincenzo Bellini's "I Capuleti e I Montecchi," were scheduled for later this season.

The board called the budget deficit "insurmountable."

"We find ourselves in a financially untenable situation, and the responsible thing is to work with our creditors and cease operations," they said in a statement.

The company has a $2.5 million annual operating budget. Shuttering the company was not exactly a unanimous vote: Six out of the 17 board members were not present at the meeting where the decision was made, according to the Boston Globe. Within the company, some amount of turmoil seems to have been at work. While Opera Boston blames a lack of ability to fundraise for the company's demise, some board members say that disagreements among the board about how best to handle financial problems were also at work.

"I'm shocked," Carole Charnow, the company's founding general director, told the Boston Globe. "I don't know what to say. I'm in a state of shock. It's like a death for me, for the city, all of us."

-

CONVERSATIONS