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Baritone David Adam Moore sings Schubert’s Winterreise. (Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Opera.)

Breaking news: The Atlanta Opera receives $600,000 Molly Blank Fund grant

The Atlanta Opera’s Tomer Zvulun has talked often about his mantra: increase the company’s artistic risk and lower the financial risk. One of Zvulun’s new initatives to lift the company is the “Atlanta Opera Discoveries” series, which produces shows that are more intimate and taken to diverse venues to try to reach a wider audience.

The opera received a major boost when the Molly Blank Fund announced last night it will give the opera a $600,000 grant to underwrite the “Discoveries” series for the next two years. The fund is overseen by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

“This generous gift makes us both grateful and excited,” said Zvulun, the opera’s artistic and general director. “We are grateful for the support of a fund associated with a woman, Molly Blank, who was so passionate about opera and the power of the arts. And we are excited to put these monies to work to continue building audiences for the opera.”

The Atlanta Opera began its “Discoveries” series in 2014 with three acclaimed productions: Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, Schubert’s Winter Journey (Winterreise) and David T. Little’s Soldier Songs.

Two shows are planned for the 2016-17 season. Composer Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires will be staged in February at Le Maison Rouge inside Paris on Ponce. Mozart’s The Secret Gardener will be staged next May at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The Blank grant will also be used to underwrite the company’s “Studio Tour” next year, which will feature an abridged version of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, an abridged version of the Cinderella story that will be performed at schools and performing arts spaces throughout the Atlanta area.