This story is fascinating, in a bizarre sort of way. It draws my attention with the sort of ghoulish attraction that makes some drivers slow down to stare at highway wreckage.
Long story short: Opera Boston was perennially over-extended, and lived hand-to-mouth, relying on a small clutch of wealthy donors - and particularly one Randolph Fuller, who reliably came through with at least 10% of the annual budget, and who seems to have begun some sort of vendetta against incoming General Director Lesley Koenig after she edited his program notes for Maria Padilla without his consent (or even a call of apology).The program note incident was just one part of a very ugly scenario, involving huge egos, enormous amounts of money, and deeply flawed and shortsighted management.
“Did program notes bring down Opera Boston?”
Because I am active on the board of a nonprofit performing ensemble for which I also write program notes, I found this story fascinating in a oddly personal way, of course. But my donations to our group are quite small, and my role quite different than the situation described in the Boston story. And in our group, even though some artists are active on both board and staff, artistic matters (including the writing and editing of program notes) do not, I think, influence board matters inappropriately.
Edgers, Geoff. “Clash hastened Opera Boston’s demise.” Boston Globe, January 15, 2012.
So, so strange and so very sad.