Opera Fairbanks has announced it is canceling its 2019 Opera Ball because of financial constraints.
A prepared statement from the board of directors reads, “We want to make it clear that we’re not completely shutting down; we will be maintaining our Facebook page as well as the OF website. Hopefully, if things improve we will be considering future fundraising ideas and will be sure to keep the community updated as to activities and opportunities as they develop. We would also like to express our sincere appreciation for all of the support that our followers and community have so generously given us over the years; this support has enabled us to continue for 13 seasons, which is commendable given the very high cost of producing high quality Opera for the interior of Alaska. Without such strong support, we could not have survived.”
Opera Fairbanks has hosted a ball each September since 2015 that served as a fundraising effort for the organization as well as showcased local performers and operas. The news of the cancellation comes after the organization announced this summer it was postponing its 2019 production of “Falstaff” because of budget constraints.
In the release, Board President Carol Wilbur thanked Design Alaska for its support over the years, saying “They have contributed over $100,000, and without their help we would have probably struggled to produce our main stage summer performances.”
She also went on to thank Cassandra Tilly and Gregory Buchalter, who created Opera Fairbanks and “have continued to steadfastly and passionately work together to keep the organization going.”
“We’re not going away, just waiting until conditions hopefully improve so that we’re able to continue to provide opera to the community of Fairbanks,” Wilbur said.
Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or on Twitter at twitter.com/FDNMfeatures.