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S.f. Opera Cancels Summer Season

November 13, 1986| From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Opera has dropped plans for its summer seasons through 1989 because of a lack of support.

General Director Terence A. McEwen said Tuesday the opera has sustained deficits of over $1 million during five of the six summer series. (Last year, the company averaged 64% capacity through 26 performances.) The summer season also seemed to lead to a slump in fall ticket sales and attendance, he said.

"There has not been an enthusiastic reaction of the public to the summer season," said McEwen. "Since the summer seasons began, our fall season attendance started to recede."

McEwen said that if the summer season were sold out, "I'd fight to the death to keep it going."

The decision was made by the opera's executive committee which faced a deadline for printing announcements for the 1987 summer season. "We had to make a decision, yes or no," he said, declining to give details on repertory or artists. Still scheduled for June and July is the touring Houston Grand Opera production of "Porgy and Bess."

McEwen has begun sending telegrams to the artists the opera has engaged for summer seasons through 1989 and said expects to be able to offer most alternative roles for fall performances. A spokeswoman for the company said that plans for a "Ring" cycle for the summer of 1990 still stand.

"Our purpose remains to present the highest quality international opera that can be given--the 10 operas in the fall--as well as anywhere in the world," he said. "One of the purposes of the summer opera was to build audience. We didn't achieve that."

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