At 76th season's conclusion, Florentine reaffirms commitment to artistic excellence, fostering new works and continued community engagement amidst reduced budget
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin—September 24, 2010—The Florentine Opera Company's Board President Clay Nesler announced at the annual meeting Sept. 24 that the Florentine remains in solid standing at the conclusionof the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
"I am pleased that the Florentine Opera has maintained a stable position duringthe past fiscal year, while at the same time achieving a host of organizational milestones, including the presentation of two brand new productions, the opening of the Wayne & Kristine Lueders Opera Center, and the production and recording of the Midwest premiere of Elmer Gantry for international distribution by Naxos," Nesler said.
In addition, Nesler reported that the Florentine received a clean audit for the year, and that it carries no long-term debt going into 2010-2011. The organization's year-end line of credit balance is $0. At fiscal year end, the endowment showed a healthy increase, due in part to a major gift.
Nesler also stated that the organization was proactive in laying the groundwork for fiscal stability by reducing the 2009-2010 operating budget to $3.2 million, down from $3.8 million in the 2008-2009 season.
Florentine General Director William Florescu reaffirmed the company's commitment to fostering new and underperformed opera: "I do not believe that sticking to very safe repertoire to minimize risk is the best way of riding out the national financial crisis," he said."I am of the opinion that staying creative from both a repertoire and production design standpoint provides the best positioning for opera moving into thefuture. In fact, I believe that doing so will ultimately have a tremendously positive effect on the opera art form, by keeping it revitalized and relevant as we move into the 21st century."
The Florentine Opera's 2010-2011 season, announced earlier this year, will include three mainstage operas, including the organization's first world premiere, Don Davis's Río de Sangre (performed Oct. 22, 23 & 24, 2010); Rossini's lighthearted The Italian Girl in Algiers, (performed March 18, 19 & 20, 2011), and a sumptuous double bill of John Blow's Venus & Adonis and Henry Purcell's Dido & Aeneas (performed May 13, 14, 15, 18,19, 21 & 22, 2011). All three works will be presented at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The Florentine Opera will also present its season education and community enrichment offerings, including a 10-week children's touring opera, John Davies' The Billy Goats Gruff.