Thursday, June 17, 2004

Opera seeking high note: $12M



By Janelle Gelfand
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Opera will announce its ambitious $12 million Festival Campaign tonight - the largest in its 84-year history.

The opera already has $7.3 million of that goal in hand, raised quietly over the last two years. That figure includes recent gifts of $1 million from Cincinnati entrepreneur Harry Fath and his wife, Linda, and $500,000 from business owner Larry Sheakley and his wife, Rhonda.

The public phase of the campaign will be announced at tonight's opening night performance.

"The opera has really moved to another level in the last seven years, and we want to see that continue," said Fath, who is president of the board and co-chair of the campaign. "We hope that it inspires other people to help."

The combined endowment and capital fund drive will allow the company to expand its season, commission new operas and pay for the Corbett Opera Center.

A gift of $1.5 million from the Corbett Foundation in 2002 began construction on the Corbett Opera Center in Music Hall's north wing.

E-mail jgelfand@enquirer.com

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