Opera Lyra reports major progress at Annual General Meeting

Opera Lyra reports major progress at Annual General Meeting

OTTAWA- December 20, 2013- Opera Lyra, the professional opera company of Canada's capital region, has reported major improvements in its results for 2012-13, at its recent annual meeting.

“In my 18 months with the company, I have been thrilled to see our growing successes,” said John Peter (Jeep) Jeffries, Opera Lyra’s General Director. Jeffries reported on the artistic and commercial outcomes from productions of Bohème, La Traviata and the recent sold-out shows of Carmen. Together with careful administrative measures, these productions have bolstered local audiences and overall operations.

“In total, we have had over 19,000 people paying solid ticket prices to attend these operas”, said Jeffries. “That’s a wonderful total, a strong measure of local interest. And another 6,000 students also had the chance to see Opera Lyra’s youth-oriented operatic production, which is designed to engage young audiences and imaginations.”

The company had met a series of setbacks several years ago that had negative impacts on costs and revenues. Beginning in late 2011, however, a turnaround plan was put into place. Most accumulated debts have now been paid off, and attention has turned to the heart of the Opera Lyra mandate – the music, passion and adventure of opera.

During 2013, Opera Lyra expanded its popular outreach production aimed at families and young people. It also continued its training program for emerging artists, offering them performance opportunities in community-based recitals.

Looking ahead to the new year, Jeep Jeffries said he is confident that the productions of Madama Butterfly in April 2014, and the exciting production that will launch Opera Lyra's 30th season in the fall of 2014, will draw excellent audiences. “In both Ottawa and Gatineau I sense there is a real interest in seeing first class opera”, said Jeffries. “We intend to expand our offerings with new artistic and educational initiatives. Our staff and Board are eager to do this.”

“We have many reasons to be proud of our achievements during the past two years, but we aren’t completely out of the woods,” said Victor Rabinovitch, Chairman of the Opera Lyra Board. Rabinovitch stressed the importance of public support received from all levels of government and from private donors. “Ticket sales have been fantastic, but like every opera company in North America we need other financial supporters to enable us to better serve our communities.”

Four new Directors join the Board and bring a wealth of experience in business development, cultural leadership, international and national relations, and public service. The new Directors are: Hélène Giroux, Cathérine Lemieux, Margaret Skok, and Rob Wright. They join eight previously elected Directors who continue to serve on the Board. (further details available at: www. operalyra.ca).

Opera Lyra’s 29th Season:

Opera Lyra is dedicated to the music, the passion and the adventure that is opera, committed to nurturing and showcasing Canadian talent and to educating young audiences and instilling in them the love of opera and the arts.

On March 15th, Opera Lyra Ottawa announced the return of two fully-staged productions. Georges Bizet’s most popular opera Carmen, Giacomo Puccini’s beloved masterpiece Madama Butterfly and Opera Lyra’s annual opera for families – an adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s witty The Pirates of Penzance.

On April 19, 21, 23, 26 2014 Opera Lyra will present on of the most famous and beautiful operas – Madama Butterfly . This haunting tale is set in Japan in the late 1880’s. Southam Hall, National Arts Centre. Tickets – NAC Box Office – 613-947-7000, x. 620.