Just a few encouraging numbers from yesterday afternoon's Seattle Opera annual meeting. These budget figures aren't audited yet; they'll be finalized in December's annual report.
So far, expenditures for FY 2006-07 are $400K under on a budget of $21 million, which all but ensures a balanced budget for the year (which they've done 13 of the last 14 years).
(Other companies' approximate budgets, for comparison: the Met, $200 million; San Francisco Opera, $60m; Chicago Lyric Opera, $47m; Portland Opera, $7m.)
Ticket sales were at 99% of projections. Seattle Opera still claims the highest per-capita attendance of any opera company in the country.
And they announced three literally gasp-inducing gifts: $15 million from Gerard L. Hanauer, $5 million from the Nesholm Family Foundation and John and Laurel Nesholm, and $1.5 million from Susanne F. Hubbach. $10 million of Hanauer's donation and $500K of Hubbach's is going to the endowment, the rest to annual support.
The Artists of the Year were also announced: Mariusz Kwiecien, the smoldering Don Giovanni last January, and Asher Fisch, who made the Seattle Symphony sound even more scrumptious than usual as conductor in last summer's Der Rosenkavalier and the Wagner Festival Competition.