For Third Consecutive Year Kentucky Opera Ends the Season in the Black

Louisville, Kentucky – (August 24, 2012) Kentucky Opera (KO) is proud to announce for the third consecutive year that it closed the season on May 31, 2012 with an operating budget surplus. This is a significant achievement for the company given the difficult challenges faced when the Louisville Orchestra (LO) canceled all services last season.

While KO presented the Brown-Forman 2011/12 Season without canceling one performance, General Director David Roth says, “The challenges KO had to overcome last season were unprecedented in our industry. We wish to thank all of our patrons for supporting us while we worked to overcome those challenges. We also wish to thank the musicians, management and board of the LO for coming together in April this year and reaching an agreement that guarantees live music for the 60th anniversary season of KO”.

Roth says, “For our patrons and our community, we are delighted that the orchestra situation is now resolved, allowing us to focus 100% of our efforts on presenting the highest standard of quality possible for our Brown-Forman 60th Anniversary Season.” To reinforce the artistic vitality and maintain the financial health of the company, KO is expanding programming while broadening its audience, growing subscriptions by almost 50% in the past two seasons. To achieve this success, the company has engaged new audience members with high impact performances in the elegant and intimate Brown Theatre, focusing its marketing campaign on high-touch/high-impact strategies that will attract new patrons to the art form.  This “boutique style” marketing approach and the company’s continued commitment to the highest artistic standard possible have been the major factors in KO reaching its goals.

Roth also attributes the health of Kentucky Opera to its long-term support from key community stakeholders such as the Brown-Forman Corporation and Fund for the Arts, Hilliard Lyons and Stock Yards Bank support as production sponsors, GE sponsorship of the Studio Artist Program, and the annual support Kentucky Opera receives from the Kentucky Arts Council, Metro Louisville.  Also contributing were a significant increase in fundraising effectiveness at events such as the annual black-tie gala, Carnevale, and the 2012 Annual Car Raffle which netted record profits of $112,000 and $105,000 respectively. With a dedicated and fully engaged board of directors, Kentucky Opera is positioned not only to meet the economic challenges that lie ahead, but also to expand its reach into the community.

KO opens the Brown-Forman 60th Anniversary Season on September 21, 2012, with Puccini’s tragic opera Tosca, with additional performances on Sunday, September 23 at 2pm and Friday September 28 at 8pm. Puccini’s masterwork stars Kara Shay Thomson as Floria Tosca, Jon Burton as Cavaradossi and Michael Chioldi as Scarpia. Performances will be conductor by Maestro Joseph Mechavich and staged by KO’s General Director David Roth.

To celebrate Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday, KO will present The Prodigal Son on Thursday, October 4 and Friday October 5 at 8pm, launching the Contemporary Opera Series. This production will be at St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church and will be in partnership with the Choral Arts Society led by James Rightmyer and staged by Thomson Smillie.

The season continues with the Kentucky Opera premiere of Massenet’s Cinderella presented on Friday, November 2 at 8pm and Sunday, November 4 at 2pm. To allow younger audience members to more completely enjoy the performance, this production will be sung in English.

The Brown-Forman 60th Anniversary Season will close with Mozart’s Don Giovanni – one of the finest operas ever composed – on Friday, February 15 at 8pm and Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 2pm. This production is the second installment of Kentucky Opera’s Mozart Cycle and will be directed by Kristine McIntyre.