Report suggests Washington National Opera will be folded into Kennedy Center

A Wall Street Journal article indicates that an intriguing scenario is being explored in D.C. -- the absorption of the Washington National Opera into the Kennedy Center, along the lines the National Symphony Orchestra followed some years back.

Gee, this could make Ken Cen prez Michael Kaiser King of the (Washington Art) World. I have no prob with that, by the way.

It would, presumably, also mean that Placido Domingo would depart as general director of the opera company, something that might be greeted with great enthusiasm in some corners but great dismay and disappointment in others.

WNO has a rental agreement with the center that

expires in 2013, so this is, obviously, a good time for everyone to be exploring options. 

I can see the benefits for WNO, a welcome taste of financial security. Recent budgets have been balanced, but nagging debt remains. Federal funding gives the center a solid base, and Kaiser's track record for raising private and corporate money has been re-enforcing it.

I can also see plenty of ruffled feathers, staff changes (and layoffs), tricky diplomacy and lots and lots of questions. But something about this idea makes sense to me, at least on first glance. It will be fascinating to see what happens.


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