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Commentary

Gran Teatro del Liceo
02 Feb 2012

Barcelona’s Liceo Opera in Financial Crisis

Confronting a financial shortfall, the Gran Theatro del Liceo in Barcelona has announced a reduction in performances this season with two scheduled operas cancelled.

Barcelona’s Liceo Opera in Financial Crisis

By Frank Cadenhead

Above: Gran Teatro del Liceo

 

A double-bill of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and The Dwarf plus performances of Debussy’s Pélleas et Méllisande have been scratched as well as ballet evenings, concerts and a recital by soprano Nina Stemme.

The theater has suffered from a cut in government subsidies of 15% both this year and last along with sagging sponsorship income. In an effort to cut 3.7 million Euros from this year’s budget, the theater will close from March 20 through April 10 and again from July 5 through August 8 for a total of 56 days. Salaried employees will be on unpaid leave for those periods. The box office will offer refunds, exchanges and donation opportunities for tickets to cancelled events. These reductions are likely to create some problems with business sponsors since tickets to upcoming performances are a usual benefit for donors.

Ticket sales have remained fairly steady, reports general manager Joan Francesc Marco but the cuts in government support came at the same time as business sponsorship has been in decline. Opera workers and others have blamed Marco for bad management and the drop in sponsorship.

Frank Cadenhead

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