The Canadian Opera Company released its annual report and accounts for 2016/17 last night. The big news was the extension of General Director Alexander Neef’s tenure to the end of the 2025/26 season. The financial news was basically “same old same old”. Ticket sales once again showed a small decline which was compensated for by record fundraising performance to yield, essentially, a break even.
To be fair, a lot of companies would be over the moon to show results like that but I do find the continuing audience decline a bit worrying. It seems to have steadied out over the last couple of years to around -1% p.a. but at the same time the excuses have all disappeared too. It’s no longer possible to blame the economy, the MetHD broadcasts or the fall off in novelty value of the Four Seasons Centre. Might as well blame global warming. The city is growing and the opera audience isn’t. We need to figure out why.