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Elgin Opera calling it quits

Kimberly Albrecht

Kimberly Albrecht

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Updated: November 18, 2013 7:45AM

ELGIN — The not-for-profit Elgin Opera has decided to call it quits.

“Due to financial constraints and prior obligations beyond its control, the company must fold immediately,” a press release issued Wednesday stated.

The group’s executive producer, Kimberly Albrecht, said Elgin Opera’s last effort was a master class in singing offered in July at Elgin Academy. This year, Elgin Opera also performed in May at L’Eiffel Bistrot in South Barrington and held a spring concert that drew about 200 people to Elgin Academy, Albrecht said.

“The people of the Elgin area were as supportive as can be, but funding was at issue,” Albrecht said.

The roots of the organization date back to 2001, when Elgin performer and teacher Solange Sior founded Opera Professional Entertainers Repertoire Association (OPERA), which she described as a group designed “to create and nourish a greater appreciation of the classical vocal arts and to educate through professional performances and community outreach programs.” The name was changed in 2008 to Elgin OPERA. The group won an Elgin Image Award in 2010, and Sior left the project in late 2011.

During its time, the group staged opera at the Hemmens Cultural Center; became part of a resident artist program, with offices and performances on the campus of Elgin Academy; offered a summer music festival and young artist program; hosted annual galas, master classes and vocal competitions; and held shows at several local restaurants.

The city of Elgin helped fund Elgin Opera and gave $3,137 this year to back a spring concert. According to the press release, other underwriting came from the Illinois Arts Council, Palmer Foundation, The Pauls Foundation, First Congregational Church of Elgin, Villa Verone, L’Eiffel Bistrot and the Channing Elementary School PTO.

Albrecht said she has been involved with the group for four years, the last two in her current role. Albrecht said she and Elgin Opera artistic director Susan Dennis will continue to work together as Bravissimo, a vocal performance organization working to book a show this fall at a restaurant in Palatine and a Christmas show somewhere in the northwest suburbs.

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