Lyric Opera balances its budget and renews Davis contract through 2021

Mon May 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Sir Andrew Davis’s contract as music director of the Lyric Opera has been extended through 2021.

In his first annual meeting as general director Anthony Freud informed the assembled Monday night that the Lyric Opera of Chicago has balanced its budget and signed up Sir Andrew Davis for another decade.

Speaking to the board of directors at the Four Seasons hotel, Freud stated that the company had balanced its budget of $57.4 million for the 2011-12 season, but once again had to dip into its reserve fund to do so, this time in the amount of $3.8 million. That’s less than the $4.3 million taken from the reserve the previous year but still a substantial sum.

The other numbers Freud reported Monday night all showed steady improvement from 2010-11. Ticket revenue for 2011-12 was $25 million, a $1.3 million increase from the previous year. The company also passed its projected fundraising goal with $21.1 million raised in annual contributions, $3 million more than 2010-11.

Tickets sold were 233,113 for 2011-12, 88% of capacity, a slight increase from 229,775 the previous year.

On the artistic front, music director Sir Andrew Davis’s contract, set to expire in 2014-15, was re-upped for six more seasons. “Sir Andrew’s contribution to Lyric Opera has been inestimable,” said Freud in a statement released by Lyric. “As he and I make artistic plans for the future, his ongoing commitment to our company is of fundamental importance to Lyric’s strength and success.”

“The fact that I’m committing myself so far ahead is an indication of the love I have for Lyric Opera and the pride I have in our work,” said the British conductor in a released statement.

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One Response to “Lyric Opera balances its budget and renews Davis contract through 2021”

  1. Posted May 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm by Benjamin

    How is drawing down endowment $3.8MM this season and $2.7MM last balancing the budget? This has been going on for some time. I don’t get how you can claim to be balancing the books by draining the endowment reserves

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