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San Diego Opera Board Votes To Delay Shutdown By 2 Weeks

Credit: Ken Howard

The Act 3 Finale of San Diego Opera's "A Masked Ball."

The San Diego Opera Board of Directors Monday delayed a planned shutdown for two weeks to give major donors more time to step forward.

The decision came following a marathon meeting of the directors, who were looking for a way to keep the opera company open.

IN-DEPTH: A Behind-The-Scenes Look At What Prompted Board Members To Meet Monday

Opera CEO Ian Campbell announced the planned shutdown March 19, saying the organization faced insurmountable financial problems and didn't want to leave creditors hanging. Numerous opera fans criticized the decision to close, however, and more than 19,000 people have since signed a plea on to get the board to reconsider.

The opera is set to perform Massenet's "Don Quixote'' April 5, 8, 11 and 13. It was to shut down a few days after the last show, but that date has been extended to April 29.

VIDEO: Opera CEO Campbell Speaks To KPBS Midday Edition Following Shutdown Announcement

"Buy the tickets to the last Don Quixote to see the opera and come forward -- we need at least $10 million,'' board President Karen Cohn told reporters after the meeting. That figure is what is required to put on a 50th anniversary season next year.

The patron and donor base for opera companies are diminishing nationwide. Opera companies in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, Baltimore, San Antonio and Orange County have gone out of business recently, according to the San Diego Opera.

The Opera originated as the San Diego Opera Guild in 1950. The San Diego Opera Association was incorporated in 1965, and Campbell was hired from the Metropolitan Opera in 1983.

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Avatar for user 'Zwski'

Zwski | March 31, 2014 at 9:08 p.m. ― 2 years, 12 months ago


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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | April 1, 2014 at 7:43 a.m. ― 2 years, 12 months ago

if they can't operate at a profit, they need to fold,

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Avatar for user 'jjedwards49'

jjedwards49 | April 2, 2014 at 2:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Too bad we get the rationale for failure to maintain opera in San Diego after the fact, damage being done without much if any public awareness or discussion. It's unfortunate that such a well-attended and precious venue couldn't be adequately nurtured in a town that booms with prosperity, and whose public is led to voice their opinions early and often on sports arenas, Park renovations, and libraries. Hopefully, this episode, however it evolves, represents the declining trajectory of an insular "good-'ol boy" local economic/political/cultural structure, which cares more for its own than public good.

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