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New San Diego City Opera Poised To Entertain Modern Audiences

New San Diego City Opera Poised To Entertain Modern Audiences


Cynthia Stokes, co-artistic director, City Opera

Cory Hibbs, co-artistic director, City Opera


Photo credit: San Diego City Opera

San Diego City Opera singer Sarah LeClair in a performance of Queen of Carthage in this undated photo.

It looked like San Diego would have no opera last year and soon it will have two, when the San Diego City Opera debuts this fall.

The new company has a very different take on how opera can and should be presented to modern audiences, the City Opera founders said.

City Opera plans to take their shows to all areas of San Diego County — from La Jolla to Barrio Logan.

Cynthia Stokes, co-artistic director, said the San Diego Opera's financial challenges allowed her to re-imagine what opera should be.

"It was a real opportunity form all of our points of view — to really re-imagine what opera can be," Stokes told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. "How do we find ways to make opera accessible? How do we create work that can live inside the community in a really authentic way?

Cory Hibbs, co-artistic director, said City Opera's new approach will rely less on overhead costs.

"It allows us to present opera in unexpected places," Hibbs said. "That is a lot cheaper to produce opera in."

The company’s first performance is set for Oct. 9 during the La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival on the UC San Diego campus.

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