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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

USUO Sees Financial Success in 2009-10 Season

Contact: Jana Cunningham, (801) 869-9027

October 5, 2010

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Sees financial success in the 2009-10 Season

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO) sees financial success with a balanced budget for the 2009-10 season. A true accomplishment in this difficult economic environment, the success was due to every part of the company coming together to ensure the future of Utah’s flagship performing arts organization.

Proactively addressing the challenges, the USUO administrative staff took cuts in salary and benefits and eliminated positions this past season and the Utah Symphony musicians made great sacrifices by donating a total of $1.3 million in salary and benefits from their current contract. The USUO Board of Trustees committed to finding the contributed revenue needed through a Leadership Challenge Campaign.

USUO received generous support from some of the leading organizations in the state. In December 2009, the Eccles Foundation made a $1 million commitment spanning two years towards the Leadership Challenge Campaign in response to the musician’s gift and in addition to continuing their annual support to the organization.

In March 2010, USUO received a Leadership Gift from the LDS Church Foundation, structured as a public challenge to the greater community to help close the gap on the $2.6 million goal. In July, USUO met the LDS Church Foundation Challenge and therefore met the 2009-10 Leadership Challenge goal for the season.

Other Leadership Challenge Campaign participants included the Sorenson Legacy Foundation; Bill and Joanne Shiebler & the Shiebler Family Foundation; Dell Loy & Lynnette Hansen & Wasatch Property Management; the OC Tanner Company; and two anonymous donors.

USUO saw great success in earned ticket revenue for the 2009-10 season as well. The organization increased season ticket packages by 8% and saw a 17% increase in season ticket holder households. With twelve sold out performances and the highest attendance rate to date at the Deer Valley® Music Festival, USUO exceeded revenue goals for the 2009-10 season. In addition, USUO exceeded the regular Annual Fund goal of $4.6 million for the season.

“The community saw this organization coming together during this difficult time and their response reaffirmed what I knew in my heart, which was that USUO is a critical piece of the cultural fabric of our state,” said Melia Tourangeau, President & CEO.

“The success of this year shows me how this community values the mission and work of USUO. What certainly helped us in our momentum was the appointment of Thierry Fischer as Music Director for the symphony last fall. The combined efforts of the organization coming together internally and the excitement of completing the leadership team with the appointment of Maestro Fischer, positioned us for success,” said Patricia Richards, USUO Board Chair.

As the 2010-11 season begins, the challenge continues. “We must start all over again in many ways, but we are confident we can meet our fundraising goals again this season,” added Richards. “We have an incredible team and a good strategic direction that positions us for continued success.”


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