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Small opera companies compelled to cancel shows

December 08, 2006|Chris Pasles | Times Staff Writer

Small opera companies are far more vulnerable to the fates than their well-heeled counterparts. Two local companies featured in a Sunday Arts & Music Calendar story have suddenly found their December plans derailed.

Citing financial difficulties, Lyric Opera of Los Angeles has canceled its performance of Mozart's "Bastien und Bastienne" scheduled for tonight through Dec. 17 at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

"We have had to postpone the remainder of our season until we can pay off a good portion of the debt we incurred for putting on Verdi's 'Un giorno di regno,' " company executive producer Laura Sage-Ruiz said. "We need about $15,000 minimum right now to fulfill our obligations to our orchestra and singers, and we're looking into ways to do that. We don't feel it's ethical to continue the season unless we can find a way to do that." The company, founded in 2002, also has put on hold plans to present Wagner's "Das Liebesverbot" in the spring. The 800 number posted on the company's website has been disconnected. For refunds, call (909) 348-7458.

Meanwhile the Valley-based El Dorado Opera has canceled performances of Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors, scheduled for Thursday through Dec. 17, and Handel's "Messiah," Dec. 21-22, both at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood because of a family illness, executive director Mavis Cordero said.

Cordero also said that some singers and artists from the company's production of "Don Giovanni" in October are "still waiting to get paid" and that the company, founded last year by Cordero and her brother Alex Britton, is trying to make arrangements to pay them.

chris.pasles@latimes.com

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