If you’re the type who donates to nonprofits like the Dallas Opera, don’t be surprised to receive an urgent phone call or two in the next few weeks. The reason: the deficit-plagued opera company, which recently had to deep-six one of its main-stage productions for the 2011-’12 season, is nearing an Oct. 31 deadline to match an anonymous, $10 million, dollar-for-dollar challenge grant for its endowment fund not with pledges but with cold, hard cash.
So far, DO chairman Dr. Kern Wildenthal disclosed last night, the opera has raised around $8 million of the needed $10 million. “It’s looking a lot better than it was six months ago,” said Wildenthal (shown in photo by Jeanne Prejean). And while the challenge grant is not an all-or-nothing proposition, he explained, “you hate to leave anything on the table. So, there will be a lot of phone calls going out soon.” A number of people have asked, “Well, should we give for the endowment fund or for the [Dallas Opera’s] operating funds?,” Wildenthal added, “and I tell them: Ideally, both!”