The Connecticut Opera in Hartford, CT, has closed its doors for good after 67 years because of the economy. Two weeks ago, the opera canceled the remainder of its season. All of the staff has been laid off.
Whereas most concert cancellations have provisions for the ticket holders to get refunds, the 2,000 subscribers seem to be out luck for the recently canceled productions, including “La Bohème.”
The state attorney general’s office is looking into the closure according to a report from the Associated Press. Opera patrons received notices that recommended the price of their now-worthless opera tickets could be written off as a charitable contribution.
The Opera apparently is not filing for bankruptcy due to the expenses it would incur.
“Last night our Board of Trustees approved a plan to cancel the production of our final two operas of the season: ‘The Daughter of the Regiment’ and ‘La Bohème,'” wrote Board Chairman John Kreitler, Board President Brooks Joslin, Artistic Director Willie Anthony Waters and Managing Director Linda Jackson in a joint statement. “The decision to cancel the rest of the season is not one that was easily made.”
The statement informed that in a normal season ticket sales cover less than 40 percent of the cost of producing the high-quality operas. But this year, the opera is “facing enormous economic challenges including a slow down in ticket sales and increased difficulty in raising charitable gifts and sponsorships. This combination has made it financially impossible for us to complete the season.”