THEY say it’s not over until the fat lady sings and this is the case with Inverell’s Opera in the Paddock.
The curtain has closed on the cultural feast, held annually for 11 years, with not enough sponsorship forthcoming.
Organiser Peta Blythe said it became clear last month they didn’t have sufficient funding to hold the March 16 event next year at her Delungra property.
“ArtsNSW funding came through, but you need the various levels of local, state,
corporate and donations and we aren’t confident we can make that up,” she said.
“We’ve had some really loyal local support, though.”
She said corporate sponsorship together with philanthropic donations in 2010 had reached $36,000; in 2011 $17,800 and to date, corporate sponsorship was down to $4500 with the council contribution halved from 2011 to $5000.
Mrs Blythe said she wasn’t sure whether the event would run again in 2014, but hoped it would return.
It was a disappointing turn of events for the opera singer, with items planned such as a young conductor from Opera Australia appearing and a Classic FM coach tour coming to the area from Brisbane – and they had hoped to make it an annual event.
“The decision wasn’t taken lightly, but we’ve done a lot of risking every year. It has been built up a lot as an artistic event, but we’d need some significant support to make it happen again,” Mrs Blythe said.
Opera North West will continue on with events planned for the organisation.