A government dispute over the budget for the new Bastille Opera in Paris has left the French capital’s two other opera companies short of money and may lead to performances being delayed or canceled, according to Jean-Louis Martinoty, director of the green-domed Palais Garnier opera house in the center of Paris. Martinoty said the Culture Ministry, responsible for Paris’ three official opera houses, was at loggerheads with the Budget Ministry over how much money the modernistic “people’s opera” on the Place de la Bastille should receive this year. Because the dispute has prevented an overall budget from being approved for the Bastille Opera, the Palais Garnier and the Salle Favart comic opera house, the two older opera houses were short of funds, Martinoty told Reuters. “We’re having extremely serious problems with our artists and suppliers,” Martinoty said. “We can’t honor certain contracts, some suppliers are not being reimbursed and some artists are not having their trips paid.” Martinoty said he believed a total of $8 million was at issue in the disagreement. He cited the “Sleeping Beauty” ballet scheduled for later this month and a West German work scheduled for May, “The Master and Margareta,” as productions under threat.
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