Florentine Opera Maintains Solid Standing at Conclusion of 0
Commitment to artistic excellence amidst budget trim sets tone for upcoming season
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - September 18, 2009 - Board President Wayne Lueders announced that the Florentine Opera Company is in solid standing at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 fiscal year at the organization’s Annual Meeting, held September 16 at the brand new Wayne & Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center in Riverwest. “Despite the tumultuous headlines we all saw throughout the past year in light of the global economic downtown, there was no artistic recession here at the Florentine Opera, and I am pleased to announce that the organization has maintained a stable position during the past fiscal year,” he noted.
In addition, Lueders reported that the Florentine received a clean audit for the year. Despite an internal net loss of $107, 696 as of June 30, 2009, the Florentine carries no long-term debt going into 2009-2010. The organization’s year-end and current line of credit balance is $0. At fiscal year end, the endowment stood at $2,413K, and since June, this number has increased by an additional 9%. Ticket revenue was $823,000 and the organization received $2.18 million dollars in donations ($738,000 of which came from UPAF, the organization’s single largest donor) and $84,000 in non-cash donations.
Lueders also stated that despite the financial challenges faced, the organization was proactive in laying the groundwork for the 2009-2010 budget to ensure continued stability. The Florentine’s 2009-2010 budget is set at $3.2 million, down from $3.8 million in the 2008-09 season. “As always, our main goal remains that we will continue to present the quality performances audiences have come to expect from us within the framework of new constraints,” stated General Director William Florescu. The Florentine’s Board has trimmed the budget over $600,000. The organization did not make any administrative staff cuts despite budget cuts, although compensation cuts were made cooperatively across all administrative and artistic levels. “I couldn’t be prouder of the commitment of our administrative staff, artists and board,” Florescu added. “Their involvement in the process and willingness to make sacrifices for the good of the organization as a whole is truly inspiring.”
The Florentine Opera’s 09-10 season, announced earlier this year, will include three mainstage operas: Puccini’s melodramatic Tosca (performed Nov. 20, 21 & 22, 2009), the Midwest premiere of a new American opera, Elmer Gantry (performed March 19 & 21, 2010), and Verdi’s tragic Rigoletto (performed May 21, 22 & 23, 2010). All three works will be presented at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The organization will also present its season education and community enrichment offerings, including a 10-week children’s touring opera, John Davies’ Jack and the Beanstalk.