Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen my updates about the financial situation at the Washington National Opera, involving a possible merger with the Kennedy Center, according to some speculations. If you missed it all, check out my assessment of the issue, published at DCist:
Whither Washington National Opera? (DCist, August 9):
The cultural fallout from the financial crisis continues, with opera companies and symphony orchestras and other musical institutions and ensembles going bankrupt or frantically cutting back their budgets to avoid just that. Baltimore lost its opera company altogether, although the city budget continues to provide money to maintain its historic opera house.
Until now, Washingtonians seemed to have avoided the opera crunch. But although Plácido Domingo raised the Washington National Opera's profile during his tenure as General Director, the company has been hanging by a thread financially. Last week, both the Wall Street Journal and the Post reported that WNO was engaged in talks with the Kennedy Center about the company's future: once Domingo's term ends, sources speculated, WNO might merge somehow with the Kennedy Center, which would absorb its budget and make it a permanent resident ensemble not unlike the National Symphony Orchestra. [Continue reading]