By Bill Hirschman
Florida Grand Opera has extended its deadline two weeks to raise enough money to continue performing next season at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
Initially, the fund-raising drive was to have expired last Saturday, but the deadline is now Saturday, Feb. 14.
FGO General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis commented Monday, “Thanks to the wonderful partnership we enjoy with the Broward Center and the commitment of its CEO, Kelley Shanley, we have two more weeks to work toward the accomplishment of our goal of $400,000.”
An anonymous donor has pledged to match any donation to keep Florida Grand Opera from eliminating Fort Lauderdale performances from its 2015-2016 season. But without pledges from other donors by Feb. 14 to be matched, large-scale opera productions would disappear from Broward County.
Battling its way to fiscal solvency, FGO announced earlier this month that it needed $600,000 to make up for budgetary shortfalls associated with transferring Miami productions to Fort Lauderdale.
It needed the pledges by Jan. 31 to ensure it could get dates on the calendar for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
About $200,000 of the $600,000 has been identified as coming from previously dependable donors. But that left $400,000 to be addressed by new donations and the matching benefactor. About $150,000 of that balance has been raised from individuals and will matched by the anonymous donor.
A formal announcement regarding FGO’s future in Broward County will be
released Feb. 16. Even if the season moves to Broward, scheduling and financial concerns mean that only the first two shows of the season will play in Broward.
At the same time, FGO announced its 75th season lineup for 2015-2016:
### Gioachino Rossini’s classic comic opera Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville),
Arsht: Nov. 14, 15, 17, 20, 21
Broward Center: (tentative) December 3, 5,
### Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, among the most requested operas by FGO audience members over the past decade and absent from FGO for 26 years.
Arsht: January 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 2016
Broward Center: (tentative) February 11, 13, 2016
### Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Passenger. As one of only five communities in the United States with the opportunity to experience this piece, Florida Grand Opera will present this piece which is sung in multiple languages as the third installment of the company’s “Made for Miami” series.
Arsht: April 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 2016
### Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale: The comic opera will be set in Rome at the cusp of the Swinging Sixties.
Arsht: May 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 2016
Subscription renewals are being mailed this week. FGO will begin accepting new subscriptions Feb. 9. FGO’s Box Office is located at the Doral Center on 8390 NW 25 Street in Miami. Tickets may also be purchased at (800) 741-1010.