Utah Festival Opera Company founder and general director Michael Ballam is anxious for the ground to thaw east of the company-owned Utah Theater. He says the architects and construction workers are ready to start building the theater’s new annex.”We have a wonderful, generous donor,” Ballam explained on KVNU’s Crosstalk show Tuesday, “Ted and Elizabeth Schmidt, who have promised $500,000 as we match it. And we have been matching it. “Gail Miller and Cathy and Wayne Coon have helped us. We have enough money now to get going again and get that building sealed off, get that new facade on the front of the building.” Ballam says he is approaching foundations and writing grant proposals for more money to renovate the building which has proven to be more costly than originally anticipated. He says every dollar donated up to $500,000 will now be matched by Schmidt, a patron from California with ties to the Bear Lake area. Ballam says the Utah Theater is needed so the opera company can expand its number of productions and offerings.
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