Will the show go on?

The Asheville Lyric Opera needs to come up with $24,000 by Thursday in order to continue with its season. Without the money, the group will not be able to put on its production of Rigoletto, scheduled for March 27 and 28 at the Diana Wortham Theatre, according to board chair Belinda Brandon.

Brandon said a number of factors caused the financial shortfall: A tanking economy, combined with the injury of the group’s director and a visit from a Presidential candidate during the group’s fall production of Romeo and Juliet.

“Donations are way off, that’s true I think of every nonprofit organization,” Brandon said. Also, the group’s director, David Starkey, fractured his pelvis in a recent fall, hindering his fundraising ability. Asheville Lyric Opera’s 22 board members have been calling on the group’s donors since the shortfall was realized, Brandon said.

Asheville Lyric Opera relies on donations and ticket sales to support its three annual opera productions. Last fall, the Sunday performance of Romeo and Juliet was scheduled the same night as a visit from then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama. That was also the time of the gas shortage, she said.

“On Sunday, Mr. Obama came to town and people wanted to hear him and not Romeo and Juliet,” Brandon said.

Those who wish to contribute can mail checks to Asheville Lyric Opera, 2 South Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801, or call 236-0670.




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4 thoughts on “Will the show go on?

  1. AshevilleObserver

    Is putting out a general news call for donations – there was also an article like this one in the Citizen-Times – an effective fund-raising strategy for a non-profit arts group? If the cohort of existing donors and subscribers (does the Asheville Lyric Opera have a subscription base?) has already been approached and contributions still fall short, what are the chances the general public, not connected to the group, not interested in opera, will respond? The comments in the Citizen-Times, to the call for donations and to a column by a recently transplanted opera singer, may suggest the reaction of the general public. What was the group’s president and board thinking by going public with the group’s financial shortfall?

  2. Geoff

    If the concert doesn’t happen will the tickets be refunded? It says “No Refunds” on the tickets, but I should hope that they would not keep our money if they fail to put the show on.

  3. AshevilleObserver

    Can the reporter give us an update and tell us how the ALO is doing in its efforts to raise the money it needs by its deadline?

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