Seattle Opera announced at its annual meeting Tuesday it expects that its 2013-14 season will have generated a surplus. Growth in donations and ticket sales contributed to the bright fiscal picture, administrators said. Any surplus will be put back into operating reserves. The operating budget for the year was close to $28 million. Attendance for the season was up slightly, at 95,000 — most likely due to the every-four-years production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, produced in summer 2013 and regarded as the best in the company’s history.
In other opera news, Maryanne Tagney was elected the new board president (succeeding William Weyerhaeuser). The annual Artist of the Year awards were given to mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and conductor Asher Fisch. If you saw “Tales of Hoffmann” in May, you know Lindsey’s honor is well-deserved; critic Melinda Bargreen wrote that she “nearly walked away with the show.” Seattle’s “green ‘Ring’ ” was the first complete cycle Fisch conducted in North America, and the already-lauded composer drew “a lush, radiant sound from the orchestra,” Bargreen wrote, and was greeted with stadium-worthy cheers at his appearances. He first directed at Seattle Opera in 2003 and is a regular guest.