Ministry of Education is disappointed in Finnish National Opera
The Ministry of Education, which is responsible for the state appropriations to the Finnish National Opera, regards the situation of the establishment as very serious. In four weeks, the Opera will have to explain how they are going to make up their losses over the past year of EUR 1.8 million.
According to Risto Kivelä of the Ministry of Education, it is now critical to see how the Opera is going to handle its current losses.
The Ministry of Education and the Board of the National Opera both expect to receive a detailed estimate of the revenues and costs for the current year as well as potential cost-saving targets.
The contents of the plan are likely to have an effect on the position of General Director Erkki Korhonen and other management at the Opera.
The Board of the National Opera is to convene at the end of April.
The deficit of EUR 1.8 million was a big disappointment to the Ministry, as a lot has been invested in the National Opera in recent years, and a great deal of effort has been made to support its finances.
The National Opera and the municipalities signed a financing agreement in 2003 that will run at least until 2008, and the state and the Opera have their own five-year deal that is in force and guaranteeing state support until 2009.
Such lengthy funding arrangements were made so that any surplus accruing from a good year could be used to balance out deficits in leaner times.
However, the hefty EUR 1.8 million shortfall from 2005 cannot practically be balanced out during the current five-year funding period.
In addition, in 2007 the Opera House on Mannerheimintie will be undergoing renovation work and will be closed for four months, over the summer.
"The situation calls for radical steps, in order to keep the agreed budget frame", notes Kivelä.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Ministry believes National Opera can weather its losses (23.12.2005)
Finnish National Opera