Arizona Opera Moves Into New Digs
Arizona Opera is throwing open the doors of its new building on Central and McDowell in Phoenix Friday – in advance of its first performance of the season next weekend. General Director Ryan Taylor says this is the first time the company has had all of its operations under one roof, and that there’s a sense of freedom and relief in the new digs.
"This is something that, as a functional opera company, we had to work very hard in order to find venues and spaces that could accommodate opportunities for various members of the community to come in and really experience what we do and how we put it together." Taylor said.
Taylor says the new building will help the company do a better job connecting it with the community, and, he says, hopefully expanding that community. He’s optimistic that’ll start tonight, with a performance of “Craigslistlieder,” which is based on Craigslist ads, and is described as “for mature audiences only.”
"People think that, or I guess opera companies across the country sort of have this perception that we are for a fairly homogeneous kind of crowd, who have a reputation for being somewhat elitist," Taylor said. "But, we’re no more elitist than someone who is extremely committed to their baseball stats."
Taylor says the new building will also help Arizona Opera with its education program, and to put on some smaller performances. It could also lead to some new revenue streams. Taylor says the past year was a pretty tough one for the company. He says it ran an emergency campaign in May, and raised more than $1 million to keep the company open into this season. But, Taylor says, they’re not done yet.
"We’re running an annual campaign that we normally do. We’re seeing good results from that, they always could be better. And then on top of that annual campaign, we’re also running a capitol campaign to reduce our debt," Taylor said.
Arizona Opera will be hosting events tonight, as part of First Friday, and tomorrow. It’s first performance of the season is HMS Pinafore, next Friday and Saturday at Symphony Hall.