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Washington National Opera Scales Back

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By Natalie Neumann

The Washington National Opera is scaling back its production schedule and cutting staff to tackle a budget crisis.

The Company President said in a statement that donations and ticket sales have not kept up with expenses for several years.

For the 2010-2011 season, the company will offer five mainstage operas, compared with six this year and seven last year.

The opera will cut eight administrative and production staff positions, including marketing, development and artistic jobs.

Salaries are frozen for remaining staff. Retirement contributions are being suspended. And the staff will take a one-week furlough by the end of the year along with rolling furloughs in 2010.

The cuts follow similar moves for other arts groups across the country.

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