In Friday’s (2/4) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “The San Francisco Opera posted a deficit of more than $1.5 million for the fiscal year 2009-10, attributing the red ink largely to a decline of roughly 25 percent in income from ticket sales. The budget for the fiscal year, which ran from August 2009 to July 2010, had originally been projected to include a deficit of $3 million, on operating expenses of $63 million. That was after General Director David Gockley had trimmed $6 million by scrapping a new production of Britten’s ‘Peter Grimes’ and cutting administrative salaries and benefits. But the reality was worse, thanks to a drop in ticket sales from more than $24 million in 2009 to $18.6 million in 2010. Gockley had to persuade donors to reallocate their gifts for the company’s endowment and future productions to stem the immediate flow of red ink. … Company spokesman Jon Finck sounded a more optimistic note for the current fiscal year. He said that ticket sales for the recently concluded 2010 fall season had been ‘through the roof,’ and that tickets for the forthcoming ‘Ring’ cycle were selling briskly.”

Posted February 4, 2011