The Baltimore Opera had more sold-out performances in 1995-1996 than any other season, and this fiscal year's financial statements were the best in the company's 46-year history.
Net assets reached $91,000, revenues were just under $3.6 million, expenses were $3.5 million, and for the first time, ticket sales exceeded production costs by $125,000.
Total ticket revenues were $2,212,237 -- an increase of 42 percent over the previous year. There was an increase of 41 percent in single ticket sales and a 29 percent increase in subscription revenue.
Contributions and pledges added up to $670,000 during the season in addition to an installment payment of $272,000 of a $544,000 grant received from the National Arts Stabilization Fund. Corporate and individual contributions raised more than $757,000 to support the company's artistic and educational projects.
The Opera Ball gross income of $144,605 set a new record for the event, and the 33rd Vocal Competition for North American Artists awarded a record $40,000 in scholarships and cash awards.
The company's 1996-1997 Ponselle centennial season continues in March with Verdi's "Il Trovatore" and closes in May with Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette."
Creative writing competition
The Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences is sponsoring a creative writing competition for all Baltimore County schoolchildren in grades two through 12. Entries of 500 words or less will be accepted through Dec. 6.
The competition is divided into three age categories.
High-school students will write an essay about technology. This is how the topic is described: "Is it increasing man's ability to do for mankind, or is it leading to a reduction of his concern for mankind?"
The topic for middle school students is, "How do you propose to make your community a better place to live."
And elementary school students, grades two through five, can write a fable with a lesson.
Entries should be sent to Amy DiAngelo, 301 Washington Ave., Towson, Md. 21204. For more information, call (410) 486-6048.
Artists in the north woods
Applications are being accepted for Isle Royale National Park's 1997 artist-in-residence program. The program is open to professional artists -- ranging from writers and composers to visual and performing artists -- whose work can be inspired by the Houghton, Mich., park's north woods wilderness.
Selected artists will be given the use of a canoe and a rustic cabin while on the island. The program runs from mid-June through early September, and each residency is for a two- to three-week period.
During the residency, the artists will share their experience with the public through an art demonstration or lecture. The artists also will be required to contribute an art piece representative of their Isle Royale residency.
Applications are due Feb. 15. For further information, call (906) 487-7152.
Peabody's Prausnitz retires
Peabody conductor laureate Frederik Prausnitz takes the podium for the last time with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Miriam Friedberg Concert Hall at 1 Mount Vernon Place.
After directing the Peabody's conducting program for the past 20 years, Prausnitz will retire at the end of the academic year.
For his farewell program, he has chosen works by three composers with whom he has a particular affinity. He will open the program with Ferruccio Busoni's "Berceuse elegiaque," followed by Benjamin Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" from the opera "Peter Grimes," and conclude with Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde."
Tickets are $16 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. For more information, call (410) 659-8124.
The Columbia Association Art Center is offering a free lunchtime art video series at noon Mondays. Take a bag lunch.
Topics include "Cezanne," tomorrow; "Isamu Noguchi," Dec. 9; and "20th Century Art/Manet," Dec. 16.
The art center is at 6100 Foreland Garth in Long Reach Village. Call (410) 730-0075.
Auditions for Moliere's satire "Learned Ladies" will be held at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday at the Vagabond Theatre, 806 S. Broadway in Fells Point. Call (410) 563-9135.
The Pasadena Theatre Company conducts auditions for "Arsenic and Old Lace" at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Our Lady of the Fields Church, Cecil Avenue, Millersville. Needed are three women and 10 men. Call (410) 760-5448 or (410) 923-7687.
The Red Wheelbarrow Theatre will hold auditions for a staged reading of "Bo & Mo: A Rockabilly Musical" at 7: 30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Ellicott Theatre, 8217 Main St. in Ellicott City. The book and lyrics were written by Geoffrey Himes, and the music is by Billy Kemp. Roles are open for five adult males and five adult females. Singing is not required because the composer will perform the music at the reading. Call (410) 235-6627 or (410) 465-0899.
The Chesapeake Youth Symphony's repertory and string orchestras conduct auditions for new members Dec. 14 at Heritage Baptist Church, 1740 Forest Drive in Annapolis. Needed are bassoon, brass, percussion and string players. Members range in age from 8 to 18. To schedule an audition, call (410) 956-2195.
The Jewish Community Center's Primetime Players have scheduled auditions for the 1997 production of "There's No Business Like Show Business -- A Musical Tribute to Irving Berlin" for 2 p.m. tomorrow at the center, 5700 Park Heights Ave. Bring a short song to sing. Call (410) 542-4900.
Pub Date: 12/01/96