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STAGE > Street requem held for protesting subsidy cuts

WARSAW - Agence France-Presse

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The Warsaw Opera, renowned for its summer Mozart program, played a requiem May 29 in front of the Culture Ministry to protest public funding cuts which have put the future of the public opera house in jeopardy.

 Officials from the Warsaw region decided in March to slash 2012 subsidies to the Warsaw Chamber Opera by a quarter to 14.9 million zloty (3.5 million euros) in a bid to keep public spending in check in tough times.

 Touting itself as the world’s only opera house to perform all of Mozart’s stage works every summer, the Warsaw Opera will perform the marathon program this year from June 15 to July 26, but ensemble officials warned it could be the final curtain call come August.

 With the subsidies cut, the opera house will no longer be able to pay salaries after the summer season, nor will it be able to afford its rent in central Warsaw. Director Stefan Sutkowski has announced he will resign once the Mozart festival is over.

Opera musicians, decked out in evening attire, performed Mozart’s Requiem in protest to the cuts under ominous dark clouds for a fervent audience of hundreds of people.

Earlier, the musicians delivered a petition of 27,000 signatures to the Culture Ministry in an effort to save the Warsaw Opera.

May/31/2012

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