Robb Asklof as The Dancing Master and Kelly Kaduce as Manon Lescaut in the Minnesota Opera production of Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" last month. Photo by Mikal Daniel.
It hasn't been the greatest week for classical music in America, but the MInnesota Opera can't complain. As the Minnesota Orchestra's woes continue and the 70-year-old New York City Opera closed its doors for good, Minnesota Opera received two six-figure grants within several days of each other.
On Tuesday, the opera announced a $100,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. The money will be used to simulcast the opening-night performances of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons at Landmark Plaza, free and open to the public. A previous grant from Knight in 2011 enabled the company to develop more sophisticated HD capture for broadcasting.
Last week, the opera announced a different grant for the same $100,000 amount from the Hearst Foundation. That grant is earmarked for education and community outreach.
Bucking a national trend in audience decline for opera companies, Minnesota Opera has had steady attendance and last year recorded an 11-year high in subscription sales, said marketing and communications director Lani WIllis.