The Eugene Opera has cancelled its performances for the rest of the season. The opera cites disappointing ticket sales and a $165-thousand shortfall.
Barbara Wheatley is president of the Board of Directors of the Eugene Opera. She says they’re cancelling upcoming performances of West Side Story and La Tragedie de Carmen this spring. Wheatley says the priority is to pay performers and small businesses and to reposition themselves to come back next season.
Wheatley: “We do want to take a good look at everything about the opera, how we’ve been doing business. We want to communicate better with our community and listen to the community about what they want from us and factor those things into making our plan for going forward.”
Wheatley says their most recent New Year’s shows sold only 2/3s as many tickets as expected. She acknowledges opera is viewed as stodgy by some, and that there is more that can be done to build new audience for what she calls a lively and exuberant art form. The Eugene Opera is holding two town halls in February to gather public input on its future.
The Town Hall meetings are February 9th and 14th at 6 p.m. at the Eugene Public Library