The Seattle Opera announced earlier this evening that it is expecting a shortfall of $1 million for the 2011-12 season. The opera’s immediate plans are to cut leadership salaries and eliminate the net of four full-time staffers, according to a news release. The company’s Young Artists Program will produce a concert instead of a fully staged opera in the upcoming season, and will go on hiatus for the 2013-14 season.
As for mainstage opera-goers, they’ll have to brace for cutbacks in programming, starting in the 2013-14 season. The planned “Ring” cycle for summer 2013 will still go on, but the opera will offer three mainstage productions that season instead of four, which is the norm when the Wagner cycle is produced. And the 2014-15 season will include four operas instead of the usual five. “Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg,” an expensive undertaking, will not be produced in August 2014, as announced last year. Instead, Seattle Opera will present the International Wagner Competition.
The cutbacks are the latest in a series of reductions since 2009, when the company implemented wage freezes and furloughs, reduced numbers of performances and eliminated positions.