In Wednesday’s (12/9) Los Angeles Times, Mike Boehm and Garrett Therolf report, “Los Angeles Opera asked for and received a $14-million emergency loan from Los Angeles County on Tuesday to keep it afloat through the middle of next year. The loan ‘is needed now, literally next week,’ Stephen Rountree, chief executive of both the opera company and its landlord, the Music Center, told the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday meeting. The company is $20 million in debt, Rountree said. County supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve the money, the first time the county has given such a loan to a resident company of the county-owned Music Center. … Rountree said that 23 opera trustees have pledged $30 million to stabilize the company’s finances after several years of overspending; the loan will be repaid as the money comes in over the next 2 1/2 years. Some of the debt stems from the $32-million production of Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring’ Cycle. The four-part ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen,’ three of which have been presented this season, will be staged in its entirety May 29 to June 26 as the centerpiece of a regional arts festival.”

Posted December 9, 2009