BEMF 2011: The Cost of Baroque Opera



From BEMF 2011 (courtesy of BEMF)

Yes, it’s expensive and risky to produce from a marketing standpoint, but opera—Baroque or otherwise—has always been a costly affair, in spite of the economy.

Kathleen Fay, Executive Director of the Boston Early Music Festival, gives us some numbers to think about.

[In 2009] the festival had to postpone its planned production of Graupner’s “Antiochus und Stratonica” because it could not raise the $1.5 million needed to stage it. Instead the festival mounted a production of Monteverdi’s “Incoronazione di Poppea,” which cost about $800,000…

The Graupner was to have been done this year. Again it was beyond reach, though only slightly.

This year’s production of Steffani’s “Niobe, Regina di Tebe” cost about $1.2 million. And Ms. Fay said on Saturday that the Graupner, for which the staging and scenery have already been designed, will be on the schedule in 2013.

“We have two years to get there and we will,” she added, though she now estimates the cost at closer to $1.6 million.

Read more: Early Music Festival: Weighing the Costs (New York Times)

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