Washington National Opera merges with Kennedy Center

Posted on: January 21, 2011

Thursday (1/20) on the New York Times blog ArtsBeat, Kate Taylor reports, “The financially troubled Washington National Opera is merging administrative functions with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the two organizations announced this morning. The move is intended to stabilize the opera company, which in recent years has reduced its season and borrowed against its endowment. Under the new structure, which will take effect on July 1, the Washington National Opera will maintain a separate board; its endowment will be accounted for separately; and donations designated for the opera will be spent on the opera. Otherwise, the organizations’ finances will be merged. Programming decisions will be made jointly by Michael M. Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, and a new artistic leader for the opera, to be hired by Mr. Kaiser and the opera’s board. The Washington National Opera’s current general manager, Placido Domingo, is leaving when his contract expires in June. … In an interview, Mr. Kaiser expressed an intention to expand the season, as well as a desire to present performances not only in the 2,350-seat Opera House … but also in the Kennedy Center’s smaller theaters.”

Posted January 21, 2011