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Report to the Community




2011 2012

Report to the Community CONTENTS Board Chair Report | 4 CEO's Report | 5 2011–12 Performances | 6


Operations | 8 Community Relations | 9 Education & Community Outreach | 10 Financial Statements | 11 Special Thanks | 14

BOARD CHAIR REPORT Dr. Kyle Murray The 2011/12 Edmonton Opera year was one of rebuilding and growth. I believe we were successful in putting a quality artistic product on our main stage while also making significant progress in the “back of house” operations that, while unseen to most, greatly add to patron experience and organizational effectiveness. In sum I think it was a very good year for Edmonton Opera. Here are a few of what I view as the highlights:


• Three mainstage operas successfully presented, each with a distinct appeal • A substantial increase in audience numbers and ticket revenues • Major increases in funding from both individual and corporate donors and stable funding from the government sector • Increased public and media profile for the company • The creation of a theatrical production facility in Edmonton • The implementation of the Tessitura ticketing and customer service system • Establishing an accessible ticket office located in the Tix on the Square office, in Churchill Square. The above accomplishments were the result of the phenomenal dedication of our CEO who took over at a trying time and under difficult conditions, yet through her tireless effort showed us all the potential for opera in Edmonton. As I relinquish my role as board chair, I thank everyone who helped make this such a memorable year including our volunteers, staff, donors and performers. Unleash the power of opera!

Dr. Kyle Murray Board Chair


CEO'S REPORT Sandra Gajic It is my pleasure to report on the 2011/12 Edmonton Opera year from the staff perspective in what is my first full year as your Chief Executive Officer. I thank Dr. Kyle Murray and the outgoing members of this year’s board for their major contributions of time, resources and wise counsel. I look forward to working closely with incoming board chair Irving Kipnes. In the CEO’s report on the next couple of pages I will expand on Kyle’s points and hopefully illustrate my premise that it was a year of regeneration for Edmonton Opera with a firm eye on the objective of building resources for the future.

Sandra Gajic CEO



2011 2012 performances



Concluding the programming set forth under the last planning cycle, Edmonton Opera presented in its 48th season three mainstage works, supplemented with a variety of outreach events featuring members of the Edmonton Opera Chorus and other local singers. We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra while performing and rehearsing at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.


& Pagliacci Rusticana

Edmonton Opera opened its 48th season with this classic Italian verismo double bill. Featuring Canadian tenor Richard Margison in the leading roles of Canio and Turiddu, the production also featured Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl as both Tonio and Alfio, Aaron St. Clair Nicholson as Silvio, Mia Lennox-Williams as Lola, Laura Whalen as Nedda, with Lynne McMurtry as Mama Lucia, and Edmontonian Robert Clark as Beppe. This production was made more special as we were able to feature the Edmonton Opera debut of American mezzo Dana Beth Miller in the role of Santuzza. The production was conducted by Opera Lyra Ottawa’s artistic director Tyrone Paterson and directed by Canadian Valerie Kuinka, also making her EOA debut.





mikado FIDELIO Drawn from the major Savoy Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, this new production of The Mikado featured a unique all-white set, re-designed and re-fabricated from Edmonton Opera’s last production of The Pearl Fishers in the Winspear Centre. Featuring the talented Curtis Olds, Scott Scully, Andriana Chuchman, John Avey, Andrew MacDonald-Smith, Dionne Sellinger, Erin Lawson and Thomas Goerz, this delightful and well-received production was conducted by Edmonton Opera’s chorus master Peter Dala, and directed by Canadian Robert Herriot. With the all-white set, the costumes designed by Edmonton Opera’s head of wardrobe Deanna Finnman became the primary design element of this production. Ms. Finnman was nominated and won a Sterling Award for Outstanding Costume Design for The Mikado.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera was the last offering of Edmonton Opera’s 48th season. A company premiere, this remarkable work featured a spectacular Canadian debut of the gifted German soprano Maida Hundeling in the title role of Leonore, John Mac Master as Florestan, Nathalie Paulin as Marzelline, Thomas Goerz as Rocco, Alain Coulombe as Fernando, Dean Elzinga as Pizaro, and Robert Clark as Jaquino. Directed by Edmonton Opera’s former artistic director Brian Deedrick, designed by Edmontonian Bretta Gerecke, and with costumes designed by Deanna Finnman, this locally built and designed production emphasized Beethoven’s themes of movement and growth from darkness into light. The production was most ably conducted by Robert Tweeten. Mr. Tweeten was nominated for a Sterling Award for Music Direction.

OPERATIONS Edmonton Opera Production Facility In the spring of the year, Edmonton Opera concluded a favourable lease and secured a 22,500-sq.ft. industrial building in northwest Edmonton suitable for a conversion to a modern, safe operatic production facility. Presently there are no theatrical production facilities existing or available in Edmonton. Edmonton Opera has had to make do with pockets of inferior production and storage space scattered around the city and beyond.


With a generous donation in kind from PCL, interior renovation and construction has begun. We have facility grant applications in process with the City of Edmonton, Alberta Ministry of Culture and Canadian Heritage. This funding allows us to renovate and reconstruct this new space into a functional production and storage facility for sets, costumes, props and wigs. We will now be able to build our own sets from start to finish under one roof. As well, rather than having to rent and transport expensive sets from other North American opera companies, we can create and use our own inexpensively and efficiently, create jobs for local theatrical crafts people, and provide broader creative opportunities for our stage and costume designers and directors. As we have in the past, we will rent sets to other companies on a revenue-generating basis. When complete in early 2013, the facility will house six full-time artistic staff and 16 theatrical crafts people employed for the period of the production run.

Endowment Contributions to the annual Edmonton Opera Endowment Fund were more than $92,000 for the year. That sum was matched (82 per cent) by the Federal Arts and Heritage Sustainability Fund for a total of $168,581 for the year end. The Endowment Fund which currently has over $3 million is a secure, sustainable source of operating capital; last year it generated income of $106,000 for the Edmonton Opera. Finance Edmonton Opera made gains in ticket sales of approximately $200,000 over the prior year and also increased sponsorship and donations by over $1 million. However, the original tickets sales budget for 2011/12 was considerably higher than we were able to achieve which resulted in a cash shortfall in excess of $600,000. The shortfall is being managed by a short-term bank loan as well as a $500,000 budget reduction to 2012/13 season. In addition the Board and Management have undertaken material revenue initiatives through ticket sales and sponsorships which will erase the majority of this shortfall in 2012/13. Summary financial statements are included in this report. For complete statements please see our website,


COMMUNITY RELATIONS Government Funding Major asks and applications are in at all three levels of government – these are all purpose asks for facility and leasehold improvements for our new production facility, theatre technology, set build for future years as well as travel grants (combined amount is $1.5 million). We expect to know the outcome of all three grants by year end. We received an increase of $50,000 in funding from the City of Edmonton, and additional provincial funding totaling $46,000. Our thanks to Canada Council, Canadian Heritage, Alberta Ministry of Culture, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, City of Edmonton, Edmonton Arts Council and the Edmonton Community Foundation. Audience Development It was a positive year for patron support. Total paid attendance was 18,541 people. Single ticket purchase increased 12 per cent. The average paid attendance for the three productions was 64 per cent, of which 35 per cent was made up of season subscription holders. This result compares favourably against last year’s paid attendance, which was 38 per cent and which only 18 per cent of those patrons were subscribers. We believe we can present opera of artistic merit and keep the cost of attending this most complex of musical and theatrical forms accessible to many. The average ticket price for the season was $77. Signature Events Our Edmonton Opera/PCL Golf Classic sold out a month before it started and it generated $60,000 net revenue. Opera al Fresco also sold out in advance at 800 attendees and the event had a net revenue of $5,000 plus a $15,000 sponsorship contribution. At the Valentine’s Gala, 865 guests helped raise approximately $300,000 for the Edmonton Opera and CapitalCare to share, nearly $100,000 more than last year. Edmonton Opera’s signature events generate more than $430,000 in revenue per year.

Marketing and Communications Our box office has been moved to Tix on the Square on Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. This is a much more accessible and visible point of sale and contact for our subscribers and ticket buyers. We are grateful to the Edmonton Arts Council who operate Tix on the Square for this presence. We completed implementation of the Tessitura system and can now sell tickets online and are beginning to reap the benefits of such a robust customer service and management system. We established several new strategic marketing partnerships during the year. A pilot project with Safeway has us selling tickets at 20 stores north of Red Deer and 12 in the city of Edmonton. The other is a partnership with City Centre and Southgate malls where we now have a successful ticket sales presence at their Customer Service Desk. Major progress has been made during the year in increasing the public and media profile of Edmonton Opera within the community. Edmonton Opera received its first-ever review in The Globe and Mail for Fidelio. Individual Giving Overall on the year, we raised net $253,000 more from individual donors than in 2010/11. We completed a very successful matching fundraising campaign in June – matching dollar for dollar up to $100,000 for all new or increased donations. The campaign raised more than $144,000 in about six weeks. A mail out to 6,000 people and phone solicitations by staff also contributed to the results. Thank you to all who gave. Corporate Giving Our corporate giving is up almost $800,000 year to year. A strategic plan for corporate fund development has been put in place and will be supported by a highlevel volunteer fund development committee of the board.


EDUCATION & COMMUNITY OUTREACH Pop-Up Opera The company conducted several pop-up operas in a variety of high profile locations throughout Edmonton whereby singers performed short recitals and spontaneous pieces. With performances at Capital Ex, City Centre and Southgate Centre malls, the St. Albert Enjoy Centre, Churchill Square and local farmers’ markets, our goal was to expose new audiences and communities to the art form.



Touring In June 2012, Edmonton Opera’s outreach team travelled to Fort McMurray to engage local voice students in a master class and a performance later that evening. We are also exploring touring and presentation partnerships with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. Opera Alive Opera Alive encourages music and arts to be an integral part of learning for students of all ages. Our unique education guides, school visits and the opportunity to experience a dress rehearsal encourage students to explore their imagination and think critically. Guides specific to each production are also available online and include synopsis, the story behind the story, glossary, listening guide and more. This past season Edmonton Opera visited seven Edmonton schools to deliver complimentary opera visits to the classroom. 2012-13 Season One of the major developments for the upcoming season include that each opera will be presented four times instead of three as in the past; this will include what we expect to be a popular Sunday matinée performance. Mainstage operas are Aida, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Eugene Onegin. Edmonton Opera will also present its first-ever Canadian Series, dedicated to two new Canadian operas, featuring rising Canadian singers and sponsored by ATB Financial.


Independent Auditor's Report on Summarized Financial Statements To the Members of the Edmonton Opera Association: The accompanying summary financial statements, which comprise the summary statement of financial position as at June 30, 2012 and the summary statement of operations for the year then ended, are derived from the audited financial statements of the Edmonton Opera Association for the year ended June 30, 2012. We expressed a qualified audit opinion on those financial statements in our report dated October 3, 2012 (see below). The summary financial statements do not contain all the disclosures required by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles. Reading the summary financial statements, therefore, is not a substitute for reading the audited financial statements of the Edmonton Opera Association. Management's Responsibility for the Summary Financial Statements Management is responsible for the preparation of a summary of the audited financial statements in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles, and for such internal controls as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of summary financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. Auditors' Responsibility Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the summary financial statements based on our procedures, which were conducted in accordance with Canadian Auditing Standard (CAS) 810, "Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements." Opinion In our opinion, the summary financial statements derived from the audited financial statements of the Edmonton Opera Association for the year ended June 30, 2012 are a fair summary of those financial statements, in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles. However, the summary financial statements are misstated to the equivalent extent as the audited financial statements of the Edmonton Opera Association for the year ended June 30, 2012. The misstatement of the audited financial statements is described in our qualified audit opinion in our report dated October 3, 2012. Our qualified audit opinion is based on the fact, that in common with many non-profit organizations, the Edmonton Opera Association derives part of its revenue from the general public in the form of donations, the completeness of which is not susceptible to satisfactory audit verification. Accordingly, our verification of these revenues was limited to the amounts recorded in the records of the Edmonton Opera Association, and we were not able to determine whether any adjustments might be necessary to donations and sponsorships revenue, excess of revenues over expenses and cash flows from operations for the year ended June 30, 2012, current assets as at June 30, 2012 and net assets as at July 1, 2011 and June 30, 3012. Our qualified audit opinion states that, except for the effects of the described matter, those financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Edmonton Opera Association as at June 30, 2012, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles.

Edmonton, Alberta October 3, 2012

Chartered Accountants


Edmonton Opera Association Statement of Financial Position As at June 30, 2012


2011 (Restated)

Assets CURRENT Cash Accounts receivable Inventory Prepaid Expenses

– 566,027 702 152,188

499,133 333,656 – 18,221











170,150 162,468 512,815 682,087

– 47,714 485,426 527,000








Liabilities CURRENT Bank indebtedness Accounts payable and accruals Deferred revenue Deferred grant revenue



665,606 25,000 (507,103 )

250,695 25,000 92,370





Edmonton Opera Association Statement of Operations For the year ended June 30, 2012


2011 (Restated)

Revenue Donations and sponsorships Ticket sales Grants Special events Set rentals & other

Expenses Production costs Promotion and advertising Special events and development General and administrative

Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses before amortization Amortization expense Deficiency of revenue over expenses from operations Other income (expenses) Foreign exchange gain Loss on disposal of capital assets

Deficiency of revenues over expenses

For complete statements please see our website,

2,140,801 1,087,628 929,737 430,960 157,148

1,079,229 954,431 922,133 443,886 136,178



2,617,212 961,650 797,922 371,808

1,908,945 634,398 438,138 518,916



(2,318) 192,044

35,460 91,028



9,802 –

225 (5,225)








Dr. Kyle Murray | Chair

Robert Bessette Katherine Braun Bill Campbell Richard Cook Julie Conlin Craig Corbett Laura Fitzgerald Peggy Garritty Jeffrey Jansen

Joanne Beaton | Past Chair Irving Kipnes | Vice Chair Ken Keenleyside | Treasurer

Bertrand Malo Lynn Mandel Axel Meisen Reza Mostashari Francis Price Robert Rock Katie Soles Stella Varvis Duane Vienneau


Foundations & Granting Agencies Alberta Foundation for the Arts Canada Council for the Arts Canadian Heritage City of Edmonton Edmonton Arts Council Edmonton Community Foundation Season Sponsors Dianne & Irving Kipnes The Canadian Series Sponsors ATB Financial Golf Tournament Sponsor PCL Opera al Fresco Sponsor City Lumber Fidelio Production Sponsor Francis Price & Marguerite Trussler Fidelio Opening Night Sponsor The Press Gallery

Education Dress Rehearsal Sponsors BMO Financial Group CIBC Sponsors Liquor Depot WAM Development Group Brookfield Residential Creekwood Chappelle Don Wheaton Ltd. John Cameron Entertainment Kellerdenali Construction Landmark Group PCL RBC Royal Bank TELUS Top-Co Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer City Lumber Corporation and the Rosen Family Imperial Oil Lexus of Edmonton ENMAX The Enjoy Centre

Media Partners Edmonton Journal Global Edmonton Pattison CKUA Radio Network Espace Musique 90.1 Preferred Suppliers Coast Hotels & Resorts Duchess Bake Shop Edmonton City Centre Graham & Lane Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Kasian MAC Cosmetics McLennan Ross MNP Playhouse Publications The Press Gallery Rhino Print Solutions Seabreeze Trucking Uniglobe Geo Travel

DIRECTOR'S CIRCLE SEASON SPONSORS $250,000 Dianne & Irving Kipnes Rob Hood Estate PRODUCTION SPONSORS $150,000 Francis Price & Marguerite Trussler VISIONARIES $50,000 Jim & Sharon Brown $25,000 C.J. Woods MAESTROS $15,000 Thomas & Melanie Nakatsui $10,000 Glen & Sandra Woolsey LEADERS $7,000 + Laurence Jewell Russell & Marjorie Purdy Arnold & Grace Rumbold $6,000 + Thomas Fath Axel Meisen & Barbara Girard Kyle & Colleen Murray Jack & Esther Ondrack Gabe & Connie Shelley

$5,000 + Derek & Joanne Beaton Larry & Ellen Eberlein Fraser Milner Casgrain Sandra Gajic Fred & Alma Gojmerac Mark & Nancy Heule Steven & Day LePoole Oline Markine Ed Wiebe & Marcia Johnson PATRONS $4,000 + Eira Spaner $3,000 + Stephen & Lynn Mandel St. David’s Welsh Society Chris & Vivian Varvis BENEFACTORS $1,750-$2,999 Tricia Abbott Darlene Acton James Archibald & Heidi Christoph Sam & Sonia Azer Rhonda Baker David & Carol Cass David & Patricia Cassie Mary Chisholm Bill & Carol Clark Marian Clark Elaine Coachman Patrick & Joan Dea John & Ann Dea Anne Marie Decore

A special thank you to all of our volunteers, staff, donors and community partners whose efforts make live opera possible

Peter & Christine Dirksen Heinz & Donna Feldberg Joseph & Pat Fernando Laura Fitzgerald Peter & Astrid Griep Linda Hamilton Brian & Jeanne Hetherington Karen & Pamela Hofmann John & Susan Hokanson H.L. Irving Jeffrey Jansen William Johnston & Mary Ritchie Harold Kingston & Marie Desrochers Juri & Helle Kraav Christine Kyriakides Mary LeMessurier Joan Lopatka & Bill Rutledge Hillard & Nancy Macbeth Bertrand Malo Laurel McKay Parlee McLaws Carman & Averie McNary Hugh McPhail & Yolanda Van Wachem Mary McPhail Michael & Mariette Meier Arliss Miller Ken & Gerda Miller Neil & Susan Miller John Oberg Eleanor Olszewski Linda & Gene Pilarski Aline Pratch Leonard Ratzlaff Alan Rose & Judy Schroder Rosanna Saccomani David Steer & Larissa Whiting Stella Varvis & Paul Grossman Robert A. Wilson Joyce & Peter Walton Paola Zanuttini Gerhard & Inge Zmalto


Edmonton Opera 2012 Report to the Community  

Edmonton Operas's report of the 2011/12 season.

Edmonton Opera 2012 Report to the Community  

Edmonton Operas's report of the 2011/12 season.