Summer Citizens express concern over possibility of Utah Festival Opera shutting down

The Logan City Council chambers were nearly filled to capacity Tuesday night with visitors. They were mostly summer citizens who come from other states to spend their summer months in Cache Valley.

Several residents thanked the council for the hospitality shown by the city and for the chance to participate in some of the educational and cultural programs available to them while they are here.

Most of them, however, mentioned the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and said they hope the program will continue. They were dismayed over some recent comments made by Michael Ballam that suggested that this year may be the last for the annual opera season. 

Cache County Executive Craig Buttars was at the meeting and told the group much of the money for the opera company comes from the RAPZ Tax.

“The legislature in the state of Utah said this is an appropriate use of these tax funds to improve the quality of life in our communities, which is what it does,” Buttars explained. “Our goal is to continue to support, through the RAPZ Tax funding, the opera and to continue to explore additional or possible sources of financial assistance that may be offered to the festival opera through our cooperation with the board of directors.”

Buttars said the opera company received almost $300,000 this year, the highest allocation of any organization.

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