Placido’s Cloudy Days

There has been a mini-storm recently about the two American opera companies run by Placido Domingo. The star singer, conductor, personality has been directing two companies – the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera – both of whom have had financial difficulties and shortened seasons.  ‘It’s the (bad) economy stupid!” he replies, and he could be right.

Studies show that, under normal circumstances, the arts get about the same support in America, dependent on private foundations and individuals, when compared with the government support in Europe. But the crisis has hit American non-profits particularly hard. The foundations – and rich donors – have seen their assets cut dramatically and contributions have taken a dive while European governments have continued their support. Germany has announced a 1.5% increase in their arts support – a piddling sum but remarkable given that that country’s economy shrunk by 5%.

The article about Domingo’s woes is in today New York Times:



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