It was fitting that the Baltimore Opera chose Mozart's "The Magic Flute" to close its 1991-1992 season. This has been a magical year for opera in Baltimore. Only 12 months ago, the company struggled to balance its books by canceling performances and trimming productions. Yet when the final curtain fell this season, the company could look back on a remarkable renaissance: Opera in Baltimore has turned out to be a resounding artistic as well as financial success.
The company presented three productions this season: Verdi's "Don Carlos," Donizetti's "Daughter of the Regiment" and "The Magic Flute." That was one fewer than a couple of years ago. But ticket sales exceeded projections for all three productions. "The Magic Flute" attracted the highest single-ticket sales in the company's history, and total attendance was exceeded only by last year's production of "Madame Butterfly."
The company has also received strong support in the form of gifts from local individuals, corporations and foundations. It raised $1 million to retire the accumulated debts that threatened to drive opera out of Baltimore. And despite a continuing weak economy, it has already raised 85 percent of the $700,000 goal it set for private contributions. Subscriber tickets sales are also looking up, with the company having reached 60 percent of its renewal goal. Critical acclaim in the Baltimore and Washington press proved the icing on the cake.