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San Diego Opera reverses decision to close, announces 2015 season

originally posted by The Los Angeles Times
May 19, 2014

San Diego Opera has officially reversed its decision to shut down and has announced a scaled-back 2015 season that will consist of three main-stage productions, down from the slate of four productions seen in recent years.

The announcement at a news conference Monday comes as the opera attempts to raise at least $6.5 million toward the new season. The company said that it has raised about $4 million toward that goal, with $2.1 million coming through crowd-sourcing.

Officials at the opera said the budget for 2015 season will be roughly $10.5 million. The balance not covered by donations is expected to be covered by earned income, which includes ticket sales.

In recent years, the opera had reported seasonal operating budgets of about $15 million.

The 2015 season, which will mark the company’s 50th anniversary, will be made up of productions of “La Boheme,” “Don Giovanni” and John Adams’ “Nixon in China.” They will be performed at the company’s main venue, the Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego.

A company spokesman said that the operas had been chosen by Ian Campbell, the company’s former general and artistic director, before the March decision to shut down.

Officials at the opera said its board of directors voted Friday to officially rescind the decision to close that was made in March. The original decision was met by a significant public and internal backlash, resulting in an effort to keep the company alive.

Since then, the company has had a number of departures of high-level leaders who had backed the decision to close. Board President Karen Cohn resigned in April, along with several board members. Campbell, the opera’s longtime general and artistic director, officially left the company last week.

The new season is set to begin Jan. 24 with “La Boheme.” A series of 50th anniversary gala performances will be held on April 18 and 19 at Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego.

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