Mark Beudert Bids a Fond Farewell
After managing Eugene Opera for the past ten years and lifting our aspirations to achieve ever greater things in seasons to come, Dr. Mark Beudert will step down from his General Director position on June 30, 2017.
Mark’s noteworthy achievements during his tenure include: producing the spectacularly successful Pirates of Penzance in 2006, which brought the company back from the brink of collapse; engaging established and rising young stars, including several notable voices from the Pacific Northwest; recruiting the distinguished conductor Andrew Bisantz as Music Director; exploring contemporary repertoire (Nixon in China, Dead Man Walking), which drew favorable national attention to Eugene Opera; and developing chamber opera as an exciting new element in the company’s programming.
In 2014, for these and other accomplishments, Eugene Opera won the Fentress Award, given annually to a local arts organization for their exceptional work and achievements in the arts.
“We are very grateful to Mark for his ten years of devoted service, during which he brought us to new artistic heights, and we wish him every success in his future endeavors.” — Barbara Wheatley, President of the Board of Directors
As you know, Eugene Opera has been going through a period of challenge and opportunity. Aided by Marc Scorca, the president of Opera America, one of our areas of focus has been on our administrative structure. Our conclusion is that our artistic excellence deserves a resident executive. Unfortunately—but realistically—my personal and professional obligations elsewhere make it impossible for me to fill that role. I have, therefore, informed the Board with regret and affection that I will not seek a renewal of my contract.
The last decade has seen us achieve remarkable artistic growth and work together to reclaim company history that, at the time, seemed irretrievably lost. As I fulfill my duties over the next three months I look forward to working with the Board, staff, our local artists and artisans, and Music Director Andrew Bisantz to prepare the company for an equally bright future.
Opera—like space travel—is hard. To me, this community can be explained by paraphrasing President Kennedy: You choose opera, not because it is easy, but because it is hard; because it serves to organize the best of your energies and skills; because its challenge is one you are willing to accept, one you are unwilling to postpone, and one you intend to win.
It’s been an honor to be a part of your community. Jennifer, my children, and I wish for—and fully expect—all success for Eugene Opera in the future.
Eugene Opera has received significant new financial support in the form of two matching challenges.
60K Challenge for This Season
A small group of supporters has jointly pledged to donate $60,000 as soon as Eugene Opera raises $60,000 from other supporters. The combined amount ($120,000) is to be used to pay existing obligations. Currently, Eugene Opera owes approximately $145,000, including loans and compensation for services already performed by the chorus, orchestra, technicians, and local businesses. If successful, the $60,000 matching challenge will enable the company to retire about 75% of its debt.
Please consider making a donation now, to double its value! Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar as soon as we reach the $60,000 target.
20K Challenge for Next Season
Another donor has promised to match $20,000 in additional donations for next season, for a total of $40,000. This amount must be used to support one or more new productions. Make a pledge for next season now, to trigger this dollar-for-dollar match!
To make a pledge toward the 2017-18 season, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eugene Opera is very grateful to these benefactors and those who have already stepped up to help meet the challenges. We hope that their generosity will inspire others, so that the full debt can be retired and next season planned.
The gap between production costs and income has grown over the past few years. We are taking a pause in our production schedule to address this gap and plan for the future. This step is necessary in order to make sure that our productions are of the highest possible quality and consistent with fiscal responsibility.
During this pause, we will consult with our patrons, our supporters, and our community as we determine what changes are needed in order to serve our mission most effectively. The Eugene Opera board and staff are fully committed to restoring the company to financial health so we can do what we do best: create live opera in Eugene.
We invite you to send us your comments or suggestions at email@example.com.