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Opera Carolina ends season with strong year-end report

July 17, 2013

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    July 17, 2013
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera Carolina ends season with strong year-end report

Charlotte, N.C., (July 17, 2013) - Opera Carolina, the leading professional opera company in the region, reported fiscal year 2013 attendance for the Opera season remained constant over fiscal year 2012 levels, and individual and corporate donations increased five percent over fiscal 2012 levels. The Company reported an increase in net assets of $33,690 on its preliminary fiscal 2013 unaudited financial statement. Over the last three seasons, Opera Carolina has realized an increase in net assets of $333,000. The report was made by CFO & COO Vanessa Thorne and General Director James Meena, at the monthly meeting of the Board of Directors on July 16, 2013.

"This positive report is due to the careful management of company assets by our executive leadership, and the involvement of our Board of Directors." said Board Chairman Steve Hershfield, vice president, Time Warner Cable. "Our efforts to build and diversify revenue streams, and to refocus our business model on audience building is paying off."

"We are equally pleased by the positive results of our Audience Building Initiative, which now completing year-two, has brought more than 4,000 new audience members to the Opera, thanks to the support this initiative has received from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Foundation for the Carolinas Community Catalyst Fund and the Hearst Foundations," said James Meena, general director and principal conductor. "Opera Carolina is a source of pride for our community, particularly in light of the continuing struggles our colleagues across the country face in audience development, fundraising and financial management."

In other news, the 43-member board of directors elected the following new class of officers and directors to begin its leadership term July 1, 2013:
Steve Hershfield, Chair, Time Warner Cable
Frank Boncimino, Vice-Chair, Time Warner Cable
Mary Shelton Rose, Treasurer, PricewaterhouseCooper
Alfredo Gatto, Assistant Treasurer, The Hearst Corporation
Laura Collinge, Secretary, US Bioservices

The Board also approved the following new members of the board of directors to serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2013:
Betty Adams, Arts Advocate
Melissa Bodford, Accenture
Fairfax Cooper, Morgan Stanley
Todd Holleman, King & Spalding
William Franklin Johnson, junior, Morgan Stanley
Laura Philipson, Arts Advocate
Stephen Philipson, US Bank
Laura Meyer Wellman, Foundation for the Carolinas
Robert C. Zabel, IBM

Opera Carolina previews its 65th season with a Gala Benefit Concert entitled, Art to Poetry to Music, on Sept. 12 at the Knight Theater. The evening features some of Opera Carolina's most stunning stars performing under the baton of Maestro James Meena and accompanied by the Charlotte Symphony. Art to Poetry to Music, a multi-media event presented in collaboration with The Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University and The Asian Herald, will fuse together opera, spoken word, and the power of the visual. Single tickets, available on August 1 by calling 704.372.1000 or at operacarolina.org, are $40 and include a pre-concert reception. Season subscribers receive a 50 percent discount.

The mainstage season opens with a new production of Verdi's grand tale of love and war,Aida, on October 19, 20, 24 and 27, featuring Canadian-American Opéra de Montréal soprano Othalie Graham; Russian born Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura; and internationally acclaimed Italian tenor Antonello Palombi. Puccini's Il Trittico, three one-act operas created for the Metropolitan Opera, follows on January 18, 23 and 26. Passion and intrigue swirl as a seamless evening unfolds with Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi starring Washington Opera soprano Jill Gardner; Chinese born Welsh National Opera baritone Chen-Ye Yuan; and Korean born Royal Opera Covent Garden tenor Dongwon Shin. The season concludes with Wagner's haunting tale of love on the high seas, The Flying Dutchman, on March 22, 27 and 30. The cast features Metropolitan Opera tenor and N.C. native Anthony Dean Griffey, Metropolitan bass-baritone Greer Grimsley and Seattle Opera soprano Elizabeth Kataria lead the cast.

About Opera Carolina
Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $2.9 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

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