THE curtain has come down on a Huddersfield opera company.
But the show is not over for the people behind Opus 1.
The company, based at the Media Centre in Northumberland Street, went bust less than three years after it was set up.
It came less than a month after members met the Queen on her visit to Huddersfield.
Managing director David Heathcote said: “This is a sad loss for the town and the opera world.
“It was an excellent company and I am proud to have been part of it.”
Opus 1 was set up in September, 2004.
After a debut production of Puccini’s La Boheme, it went on to put on 30 performances within a year.
But Mr Heathcote said the company had been let down by poor financial management.
He added: “Opera is well known as one of the most expensive noises known to man.
“It was very difficult to make it profitable.
“The immense pressures on the company’s finance function resulted in a lack of accurate management information that was essential to the effective running of the company.
“Despite restructuring with a first-rate team in February the company was unable to recover from the position it inherited and decided that the only remaining course was to cease trading in June.”
Bosses now want to set up a charitable arts foundation that will continue to provide opera alongside the other arts.
A cultural festival in Huddersfield is also something that will be looked at.
The foundation would carry out work to promote Huddersfield across the country.
Mr Heathcote said: “We recently realised Opus 1’s vital role as an ambassador for Huddersfield and this message has inspired the idea for a new foundation that will take on the baton that it handed to us.
“Discussions with key figures in the town are taking place and the foundation plan is being met with enthusiasm.
“Sponsors are invited to help fund the initial developmental stages of the foundation, which is expected to flourish and provide commercial returns for the towns industry and a series of high quality artistic products.
“Without Opus 1 this idea would never have occurred.”