From our private database of 22,300+ case briefs...
The Opera Company of Boston, Inc. v. The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
817 F.2d 1094 (1987)
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (defendant) hired The Opera Company of Boston, Inc. (plaintiff) to perform four operas at a facility in a national park. The contract provided that Wolf Trap would make a down payment as well as a payment before each of the four performances. Wolf Trap was also obligated to provide the facilities and lighting for the performances. The first three performances happened as scheduled. Wolf Trap paid the down payment and the installment for those first three performances. On the day of the fourth opera performance, a severe thunderstorm caused an electrical power outage in the area. The parties met with the National Park Service about the issue. There was no indication that power would be restored in time, and there were no alternate power solutions that appeared sufficient. Ultimately, Wolf Trap decided to cancel the performance, and the Opera Company did not object. Wolf Trap never paid the Opera Company the installment for the canceled fourth performance, and the Opera Company sued for breach of contract. Wolf Trap raised the defense of impossibility. The trial court found that it was indeed impossible for Wolf Trap to go forward with the fourth performance. However, the trial judge also found that a power outage was foreseeable, and that Wolf Trap could not rely on a defense of impossibility if the event was foreseeable. Wolf Trap appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Russell, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 518,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 518,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 22,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.