Dorothy Biondi has handed in her resignation as artistic director of the Prince George's Civic Opera. Her complaint: "I can't afford it any more -- working 80 hours a week virtually for nothing." She estimates that her expenses on the job outbalanced her income by about $50 a week. "I don't mind not being paid," she says, "so much as not having the money I needed for productions. If they can't raise $10,000 per production, they can't have an opera company."
P.G. is not the only small local company in financial trouble. The Washington Civic Opera sold enough tickets for its recent "Madame Butterfly" to give it some breathing space before it produces Donizetti's "Daughter of the Regiment" in March, but its survival is not a sure thing. Opera Casalinga was unable to produce an 18th-century French opera based on Fielding's novel, "Tom Jones," last spring because of a budget shortage of a few thousand dollars, and is probably permanently out of business. The National Lyric Opera, suffering a serious financial pinch, cancelled a production last May at the Kennedy Center and another scheduled for November. It is holding fundraising events to subsidize productions planned for next February and May. The next one will be a black-tie soire'e at Meridian House Oct. 23.