Kentucky Opera

Madame Butterly
The opera’s 2016-2017 season starts with the classic Madame Butterly.

Moritz von Bomhard founded Kentucky Opera in 1952 as one of the nation’s first regional opera companies, with a budget of just $10,000 for three productions. It’s grown considerably since then.

Kentucky Opera logoThe company’s budget in the year ended May 2014 — according to the most recent annual IRS tax return — was $2.085 million. That year’s $2.086 million in revenue included $1.4 million in contributions and grants; $406,000 from subscriptions and other program-related sales, and $19,000 from an endowment of less than $1 million.

The opera’s top financial supporters include Louisville’s Fund for Arts, which contributed $659,794 in the fund’s fiscal year 2014.

Bombard retired in 1982; the Bomhard Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts is named in his honor. He was followed by four more general directors. The newest, Ian Durrer of the Dallas Opera, was appointed in June 2016 and is to start work Sept. 1.

Ian Derrer

The company performs at the Brown Theatre, and the Louisville Orchestra plays for all performances. The Louisville Ballet performs on occasions when operas require classical dance. The opera company is financed by ticket sales, corporate sponsors and individual donors, the Fund for the Arts, the Kentucky Arts Council, and local fundraisers such as Carnevale.

William Blodgett Jr. leads the executive committee of the opera’s 40-member governing board. The administrative office is at 323 West Broadway, suite 601. The phone number there is 502-584-4500.

Here’s its GuideStar page, where you can find current IRS tax returns with annual revenues, expenses, compensation to top officers and other financial information.

Read more about the opera company on Boulevard.