PO BOX 910527
LEXINGTON KY 40591-0527
Contact Information
Address PO BOX 910527
LEXINGTON , KY 40591 0527
Phone (859) 940-9379
Contact Name Lorne Dechtenberg
Web and Social Media
Liz Maines as Lady Windermere in the world premiere of "Lady Windermere's Fan" (by Lorne Dechtenberg, based on the Oscar Wilde play). Photo credit: Sally Horowitz
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2010
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement
The Bluegrass Opera's mission has three distinct parts:
1) To champion new and underperformed musical stage works (operas, musicals, and everything in between) that use music and words to inspire, educate, entertain, and unite broad and diverse groups of people;
2) To offer professional-caliber training in music and the arts for talented performers in the early stages of their careers, as well as hands-on training for underprivileged and at-risk youth that will equip them to enter the workforce with marketable skills or to pursue higher education as they forge their own creative paths;
3) To help bring central Kentucky a reputation as one of the foremost destinations in the world for writers, composers, and audience members to see these new works brought to life.
Background Statement
Founded in 2008, The Bluegrass Opera is the only professional stage company in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to championing new and underperformed works for the musical stage (operas, musicals, and everything in between) that never charges writers or composers a fee to submit their work.
Since the company's inception, hundreds of creative professionals from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Great Britain, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, China, and Australia have shared their works with us. As of this season, we've presented fully-staged productions of sixteen of them, as well as workshops and excerpts from dozens of others.
Our collaborations have brought Oscar-, Tony-, and Pulitzer Prize winners to central Kentucky, as well as Broadway and Metropolitan Opera artists. In addition, our productions have brought together more than 200 of Kentucky's most talented singers, actors, designers, and theater artists, and they've been seen by thousands of audience members in central Kentucky, and our Original Cast Album CDs and DVDs are available for purchase throughout the world.
Impact Statement
During the past year, we've brought together nearly 100 performers to present outstanding new works at three local venues (including the Lexington Opera House), we've become a member organization of LexArts, and we've experienced our strongest year ever in terms of both audience attendance and private donations.
Our goals for the coming year include three new productions at venues in Lexington and beyond (including one at the Lexington Opera House), the expansion of our education program for at-risk youth, and new sources of funding that will allow us to invest in a facility of our own for the first time.
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Opera
Tertiary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts Education
Geographic Areas Served
The Bluegrass Opera is based in Lexington, so most of its programs have taken place inside Fayette county. However, we will be presenting an increasing number of performances in other counties as well. Our intention is to serve audiences and educate students throughout the commonwealth of Kentucky, and to be a partner for writers and composers from throughout the English-speaking world.
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Gerald Janecek
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Members
Ms. Robin Code Commuity VolunteerVoting
Dr. Lorne Dechtenberg Upbeat Productions, LLC
Ms. Linda Dechtenberg RetiredVoting
Dr. Gerald Janecek Retired
Ms. Helene McRoberts Helene McRoberts & Associates, LLC
Mr. Rick Morgan RetiredVoting
Dr. Stephanie Rose University of Kentucky
Mr. Dudley Stone Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Dena Sullivan Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 100
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 44
Female 56
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 92%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 77%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Dr. Lorne Dechtenberg
Term Start Aug 2008
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 10
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 100
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 50
Female 50
Unspecified 0
Description Fully-staged productions of new works. Each program lasts 6-9 weeks and culminates in a series of public performances at venues including Lexington Opera House, the Downtown Arts Center, and other performance spaces around the state. Since we build our own scenery, costumes, and special effects, these are our most complex events of the season. Featured works have included "LoveMusik" (by Oscar winner Alfred Uhry), "A Tree on the Plains" (by Pulitzer winner Ernst Bacon), and "ILLYRIA" (by WIlliam Diebels, based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night").
Budget 30000
Population Served , ,
Description Shortly before Christmas each year, Lexington is treated to a performance (or sometimes several performances) of Handel's famous oratorio "The Messiah." But there hasn't been a comparable event in the community during the Easter season...until now. Since 2012, BGO has presented an annual Easter celebration, and audiences have given us rave reviews every year. Our sixth annual celebration, featuring the oratorio "King of Glory," will bring our universal message of love to audiences throughout Kentucky and southern Ohio, including many who might not otherwise attend a theater or opera performance.
Budget 10000
Population Served , ,
Description Designed to begin in our 2017-2018 season, Early Stages will bring together 2-3 teams of composers, writers, and other creative professionals from around the country to develop new musical works for the stage. Early in the season, we will introduce them to each other and to our arts community, as well as assist them in defining the collaborations on which they'll be embarking. Later in the season, those creators will return to the Bluegrass for workshop performances of their works in progress (e.g., one act, or a series of scenes). These workshops will provide audiences with a behind-the-scenes look at the development process, while also enabling the creators to see and hear their work on its feet and receive audience feedback about it. We will encourage them to complete their respective pieces with this feedback in mind, and with the goal of offering the most promising works a fully-staged production during a future season.
Budget 15000
Population Served , ,
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $30,000.00
Projected Expenses $30,000.00
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$13,056$25,069$7,148
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind----$16,000
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$21,007$67,015$40,197
Administration Expense$1,711$1,586$1,015
Fundraising Expense$1,429$4,326$6,097
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.350.940.77
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%92%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%17%56%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$28,878$12,473$13,371
Current Assets$28,878$12,473$13,371
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$28,878$12,473$13,371
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose Raising funds to invest in a facility of our own (either an existing building or one to be constructed). This facility will be used for rehearsals, educational programs, and small-scale performances.
State Registration Yes
Foundation Staff Comments This organization files the 990N, which contains no financial information. Financials were submitted by the nonprofit. Figures are unaudited.  
Address PO BOX 910527
LEXINGTON , KY 405910527
Primary Phone 859 940-9379
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Lorne Dechtenberg
Board Chair Dr. Gerald Janecek
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired