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Opera House to be Boston Ballet's permanent perf. venue


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Boston Ballet and the Opera House Announce 30-Year Partnership

BOSTON, MA – March 27, 2008 – Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and the Opera House Executive Director, Jim Jensen today announce that beginning in the fall of 2009, Boston Ballet’s sole performing venue for its home season and subscription series as well as its popular holiday classic, The Nutcracker, will be the Opera House.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Boston Ballet, one of the nation’s premier ballet companies, to our theater permanently,” said Jensen. “This beautifully restored theater is a wonderful place to see dance and we look forward to presenting this world-class company and its talented artists in our historic home.”

The Opera House will offer Boston Ballet audiences a more intimate experience with the artists on stage and a single venue for all Boston Ballet productions. In addition, patrons will have the ability to purchase tickets through Boston Ballet and the Opera House with increased customer service and flexibility.

“This is a fabulous move for the entire Boston Ballet family,” said Nissinen. “The dancers are excited to have a closer connection to their audience and patrons will enjoy the enhanced viewing experience and services. In addition, this partnership offers significant cost-savings by allowing for more flexible use of the theater. We have thoroughly enjoyed performing at the Opera House for The Nutcracker and look forward to making it our permanent performance home.”

Boston Ballet is one of the most acclaimed dance companies in the world, with an extraordinary record of artistic achievement and the largest ballet school in North America. Since 2005, Boston Ballet has performed its popular holiday classic, The Nutcracker, at the Opera House, delighting thousands of adults and children each holiday season. The Nutcracker, featuring its world-class dancers from Boston Ballet’s company and live music performed by Boston Ballet’s orchestra, also includes more than 300 children from Boston Ballet School.

“This partnership is a continuation of our efforts to ensure the long-term success of the organization,” said Richard Davis, Chairman of Boston Ballet. “With this new home and the consistent support of our donors and patrons, Boston Ballet can continue to present its world-class performances to thousands every year.” Davis continued, “We are grateful for the generous support of the entire Board of Trustees especially Steve Jonas and Steve Weiner who worked diligently on the details of this deal.”

The Opera House first opened its doors on October 29, 1928, as the B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre. Built to honor "the father of vaudeville" by his business partner Edward Albee, the theatre became part of a national circuit of grand theatres, built to support vaudeville in its prime. With the decline of vaudeville, the theatre went through many transitions, becoming a movie palace, a concert hall, and later in the 1970s the home to Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston when the name changed to the Opera House.

The theatre was eventually shuttered in 1990 and remained empty and in disrepair until 2004. After a privately funded $52 million dollar restoration by Live Nation, Boston's landmark Opera House re-opened on July 16, 2004 as an architectural jewel and one of New England's finest performing arts venues. The 2,600-seat Opera House is now owned and managed by Live Nation and is also home to live Broadway theatre, music concerts and comedy.

As one of the city’s most beloved arts institutions, along with the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet reaches thousands each year through its performances, educational outreach programs and school classes. Last summer, the prestigious professional company went on a six-week tour of Spain, their first international tour in 15 years, where they headlined seven international arts festivals and were the only American company to perform. From Madrid to Mallorca, Boston Ballet was heralded by critics and audiences alike, reinforcing Boston’s international reputation as a city of culture, education, and beauty. Last fall, the company performed in New York and California. Performances at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and at The Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC are scheduled for this spring in addition to the company’s performances of Nissinen’s Swan Lake and a program of 20th Century works titled Three Masterpieces being performed in Boston in May.

About Boston Ballet

Founded in 1963, Boston Ballet is one of the leading dance companies in North America. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Valerie Wilder, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers.

Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is made up of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with Boston Ballet and as an independent group, presenting lecture-demonstrations and unique programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. The Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education is the largest ballet school in North America. In service of its mission to bring the highest quality arts education to all, it reaches and instructs more than 5,000 students of all ages each year through Boston Ballet School, Young Dancers Summer Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance education programs are held at four major ballet studio locations, in community centers, and throughout the Boston Public Schools.

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2008 Sponsor, The Nutcracker

Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation/Linda S. Waintrup, Trustee

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

Boston Organ & Piano, Official Piano Supplier of Boston Ballet

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