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San Diego Opera Gets $1M From Board President

The San Diego Opera Tuesday announced a $1 million gift from board president Carol Lazier and a $250,000 donation from philanthropist Darlene Shiley.

Lazier bailed out the opera last year by providing $1 million after previous leaders planned to shut the opera company down because of financial problems. Subsequent donations kept the opera afloat, and a 50th anniversary season was held.

At its annual membership meeting Monday night, the opera announced that it was projecting a surplus for the current fiscal year, and wouldn't have to touch reserves.

According to the opera, Lazier provided her second major gift in honor of the most recent season's success and as a gesture of support for new general director David Bennett.

"I'm so pleased to be making this gift and invite the rest of the community to join me in supporting the future of San Diego Opera," Lazier said.

Shiley's donation was in honor of former Old Globe artistic director Jack O'Brien, who will be the stage director of the opera "Great Scott." The production will premiere in Dallas this year and come to San Diego next year.

She also gave the opera $250,000 three years ago.

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