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Cup down under runneth over
A record profit, a 29% increase in ticket sales and a lavish donation from an enthusiastic supporter have launched the Millennium triumphantly for Australia’s national ballet company.

Last week The Australian Ballet reported a surplus of AU$346,485 for the year ending December 2000, compared with a loss of AU$685,592 for the previous year.

The Australian Ballet's General Manager, Ian McRae, reported that the surplus emerged largely as a result of the Olympic seasons, and two extraordinarily successful programs in Sydney late in the year. “This was a pleasing result after several years of budgeting for large deficits to achieve and maintain the company's artistic vision”, he said.

The company’s results reveal that it sold 251,609 tickets across Australia in 2000, compared to 194,592 a year earlier. This 29% increase reflects a higher number of performances - 203 in 12 cities.

The year was also marked by an AU$500,000 donation to the company, from Robert and Libby Albert, designated to the comapny's musical development. Robert Albert has been an Australian Ballet board member since 1988. The operating result does not include this gift.

The Australian Ballet is a full-time ensemble company that tours nationally and internationally, performing on average 190 times a year – more than almost any other major ballet company in the world.

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, Ross Stretton, takes up his new role at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, in July this year. He will be replaced by David McAllister.

Tue May 8 2001 (9:29:53 AM)