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.