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The opera industry has made cutbacks and compromises in recent years to continue to thrive. Funding sources have shifted, with federal funding, corporate support, and subscriptions on the decline. Foundation support varies regionally. Opera companies rely more and more on individual contributions, and itís encouraging that from 2000 to 2008, total individual contributions grew by nearly 90 percent. Similarly, federal support waned from 2005 through 2008, with grants to opera companies declining. State and local funding, however, increased in that same time period. Outside the US, and especially in Europe, most opera houses receive public subsidies from taxpayers. Traditions are different in Europe, where there is funding for the arts, especially in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. There is also funding in the UK, but itís a fraction of what it is in other countries in Europe. Example: in Milan, Italy, 60% of La Scala's annual budget of Ä115 million is from sales and private donations, with the remaining 40% comes from public funds.


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