An Operatic Tale of Donor vs. Exec

January 15, 2012; Source: The Boston Globe | This newswire will be short in an effort to encourage you to read this fabulous novelette- or case study-type article for yourself.

So, in short, this is the story of an opera company that failed. Not just any opera company, but Opera Boston, which had recently commissioned and produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Madam White Snake.” You could potentially pin the failure on any combination of the many challenges the organization faced: a lack of local audience, a bad season financially, or perhaps too few donors. But maybe the tipping point was the large donor who loved opera—and expected to be listened to—taking a dislike to the executive and demanding her ouster.

The story is interesting in any number of ways. Good reading for boards and executives alike. We’d love your take on what happened in this painful situation. What are its lessons? –Ruth McCambridge