When the boards of Utah Symphony and Utah Opera voted overwhelmingly to merge their operations in July, 2002, KSL reminded our viewers of a phrase spoken repeatedly at the time – “The real work starts now.” In view of recent reports of disharmony within the ranks of the merged organizations, along with severe budgetary problems, what we said then still applies.
It still will take work to blend the two distinctly different artistic organizations, while somehow maintaining the unique identity of symphony and opera. It still will take work to find ways to overcome bias, manage ego, and cultivate talent in the quest for harmony and unity. It still will take work to convince patrons of the arts to continue their generous financial support at the same level as before the merger. It still will take work to elicit significant public support measured primarily in terms of ticket sales to symphony and opera events.
Our community benefits immensely from the presence of a renowned symphony orchestra and a world-class opera company. They help define who and what we are. Now, tough decisions must be made to guarantee their continued viability. In 2002, KSL expressed confidence in the ability of those responsible for the merger to make it successful. We still have that hope.