The Palm Beach Opera will open a new rehearsal center today, at 2414 Florida Avenue in West Palm Beach. In order to save money on renting rehearsal areas on a daily basis, the non-profit secured a long-term lease on the 6,000-square-feet space, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The Opera invested $75,000 in improving the space and hopes to save about that much on rentals each year, the Sentinel said. It will also recoup even more of its investment by renting the rehearsal space out to third-parties. The arts group was hit hard by the recession and the Bernie Madoff scandal, but today’s opening may represent a step back in the right direction for the troubled group.
Investment in the rehearsal space is also part of a broader restructuring effort. The group plans to trim the number of full-scale operas it puts on each year, begin attracting younger audiences and bring in multi-year donors to help improve its financial situation.
“We have to be willing to question continuously what we’re doing, why and how — even in an art form as old as opera — if we want to be sustainable,” general director Daniel Biaggi told the Sentinel.
The Opera has also begun promoting meet-ups for young professionals in downtown bars. [Sun Sentinel] –Evan Bleier