Baltimore Opera bankruptcy filing shows $1.2 million debt

The Baltimore Opera Company's petition for Chapter 11 protection, filed yesterday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Maryland, revealed $1.2 million owed to creditors holding the largest unsecured claims.

Seventy other creditors were listed, without a dollar value.

Heading the credit roster is Bank of America, owed $640,000; and $245,000 is owed to subsidiaries of the company that manages the Lyric Opera House, where the company's productions have been performed for decades.

The company, incorporated in 1950, announced Monday that it would file for bankruptcy, attributed to a cash-flow shortage that grew steadily worse after the opening of the season in October.

Last month, company officials announced turnaround measures, including the appointment of a new acting general manager, and vowed to proceed with the rest of the 2008-2009 season.

But on Friday, the board voted instead to pursue bankruptcy protection and to cancel the remaining two productions.

Other creditors revealed in the court filing include The Baltimore Sun (more than $24,000); WBAL-AM, WYPR, WBJC and The Washington Post; pension, health and annuity funds for unions representing musicians and stagehands; and a New York telemarketing firm ($50,479). Among the more curious items: an unspecified amount for parking violations owed to the New York City Department of Finance and a $19,500 bill for a spa in Milan, Italy.