Ottawa-Gatineau Opera Lyra shuts down in middle of 31st season

Ottawa-Gatineau's Opera Lyra has announced it is shutting down effective immediately because it's losing too much money.

News release says revenues weren't enough to cover costs

Joshua Hopkins performs the part of Figaro in Opera Lyra's final production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville. The Ottawa opera company announced it would be shutting down immediately midway through its 31st season. (Ottawa-Gatineau Opera Lyra)

Ottawa-Gatineau Opera Lyra has announced it is shutting down effective immediately because it's losing too much money.

In a news release, the opera company said its sales, grants, donations and sponsorships were all "below expectations" and that it wasn't making enough revenue to sustain itself.

"Our core problem is that revenues have not grown to cover the costs of presenting high quality opera on the stage of the National Arts Centre," the release said.

"There are challenges in all revenue areas, including: major shortfalls in commercial sponsorships, modest shortfalls in private philanthropy, reductions in funding from the federal and provincial governments and, recently, weaker ticket sales," it said.

The company is shutting down in the middle of its 31st season and has wiped its schedule from its website.

Opera Lyra also ran into financial trouble in 2011 before the current board of directors took over.


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