UFOC weathers economic crisis

It appears that the Utah Festival Opera Company has weathered last year’s economic crisis. In fact, the report presented to the Cache County Council Tuesday evening showed the opera company ended the season in the black, with operating expenses coming in at $19,000 under budget.Board of Directors President Kent Wallis presented some of the highlights of the opera season.”The 2010 ticket sales were $886,993 which is the highest ticket sales we’ve had in the 18 year history of the opera,” Wallis said. “And so we’re really thrilled with that, in these economic times to have that kind of growth is great. It was our third highest attendance. “The money is better than the attendance because a little bit of a price increase and people were buying tickets for others who didn’t come.”Wallis said for the second time the opera company offered half price tickets for Cache Valley residents for certain performances and at those performances about 20 percent of the audiences were local residents.He says this year’s fundraising gala was the most successful in history. The new cultural classes, such as the one he personally taught in oil painting, turned out to be particularly successful.Wallis also updated the council on the state of the old Utah Theater. He said renovation has been stalled because of the economic situation. But he says, finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”We currently have a match pledge of $500,000,” Wallis explained. “So we have submitted grants to complete the project and to match that $500,000 so that we can have the million dollars to go ahead with it. “We’ve also received a commitment from Home Depot here in town to provide in-kind support for interior framing and construction materials.”Wallis says the Utah Theater will be used for a variety of activities that will bring in revenues. He also said the apartment complex owned by the UFOC is a revenue-builder.

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