In Tuesday’s (10/6) St. Louis Business Journal, Kelsey Volkmann reports, “Opera Theatre of Saint Louis said Tuesday that it ended its fiscal 2009 with a surplus of less than $5,000 but has frozen salaries and cut spending to prepare for an even harder fiscal 2010. Timothy O’Leary, who took over as general director a year ago, said Opera Theatre has budgeted conservatively for 2010 in anticipation of continued challenges in fundraising and losses in the endowment due to stock market declines. In order to balance the 2010 budget, Opera Theatre must identify more than $200,000 in new and increased support, he said. … The company has frozen the salaries of its 26 full-time employees and 100 non-union seasonal workers, suspended contributions to employees’ 401(k) plans, and cut administrative, facilities and operational expenses. O’Leary said in July that Opera Theatre made $350,000 in spending cuts to professional development, travel and equipment as soon as the economy started to sour.” The Opera Theatre’s pit orchestra is made up of members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Posted October 7, 2009