Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will The Washington National Opera (And National Aquarium Baltimore) Soon Be Joined By The Baltimore National Opera?

"On Monday, the ax fell on the Baltimore Opera Company, as it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced the cancellation of the season's remaining two operas, "The Barber of Seville" and "Porgy and Bess."

Rumors had been swirling for weeks that the company was on its last legs, but just last month James Handakas, then the newly appointed acting general director, assured interlocutors that the board and the administration were committed to pulling the organization through.

On Thursday, however, the board named M. Kevin Wixted, a financial consultant who served as interim chief financial officer of the Baltimore Symphony in 2007, as the opera company's general manager. Handakas has left the company.

"We are committed to going forward," said Deborah Goetz, a company spokeswoman. "This is a reorganization." The board did not "vote to go to Chapter 7 and dissolve the company."

The situation looks bleak for the 58-year-old company, which has also dissolved its contracts for the three productions that were planned for next year." ...

Anne Midgette "Baltimore Opera Files for Bankruptcy, Scraps Season" Washington Post December 10, 2008

National Aquarium Baltimore

"Ulalume" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1847. Much like a few of Poe's other poems (such as "The Raven", "Annabel Lee", and "Lenore"), "Ulalume" focuses on the narrator's loss of a beautiful woman due to her untimely death. Poe originally wrote the poem as an elocution piece and, as such, the poem is known for its focus on sound. Additionally, it makes many allusions, especially to mythology, and the identity of Ulalume herself, if a real person, has been questioned.

The poem takes place on a night in the "lonesome October" with a gray sky as the leaves are withering for the autumn season.

Caption and image credit: Wikipedia. With thanks.


Washington National Opera - the Survivor.


Header photo credit: (c) Ken Howard 2008. Copyright controlled. Via Opera America.


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