Melbourne Symphony Orchestra ‘not in super health’ despite government rescue cash

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has posted one in every of its greatest earnings after one in every of its worst years, due to a torrent of federal and state rescue money and a resurgence of philanthropy, its 2021 annual report reveals.

The not-for-profit organisation ended final 12 months with a $2.49 million surplus: $1 million greater than 2020, regardless of the tip of JobKeeper, and 4 occasions the excess from its final “normal” 12 months of performances (2019).

MSO managing director Sophie Galaise.

MSO managing director Sophie Galaise.Credit:Laura Manariti

And that doesn’t embody one other $4 million from the federal authorities’s emergency Arts Sustainability Fund, pledged in January and April this 12 months.

“We’ve gone through two years of hell, but we’ll survive this one,” stated managing director Sophie Galaise, who nonetheless warned the corporate was not out of the woods regardless of boasting $9 million of reserves within the financial institution at Christmas – in contrast with $5 million on the finish of 2019.

“We’re not in super-good health but we’re going towards it.”

She identified the 2021 steadiness sheet would have regarded very totally different with out $3 million from the sustainability fund, $1 million from the tail finish of JobKeeper, and $2 million from the Victorian authorities’s COVID-19 reduction fund.

Ticket income was greater than $14 million in 2019 however plummeted to $2.9 million in 2020 and $3.7 million in 2021 as the federal government’s pandemic response meant cancelled reveals beneath lockdown and extreme capability caps at different occasions.

Even in 2022, ticket gross sales had been considerably depressed in contrast with pre-pandemic demand, Galaise stated.

“There is a real reluctance to come back to the symphony,” she stated, an impact felt across the nation not simply in Melbourne, which she attributed to older patrons being “a bit more careful” about perceived well being dangers. Events aimed toward youthful audiences had been seeing far more wholesome gross sales.

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