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The Curtain Will Fall on the San Diego Opera Next Month

The Opera will stage one performance of Verdi's "Requiem" March 20, and four performances of Massenet's "Don Quixote" April 5, 8, 11 and 13 before ceasing operations.

File photo: San Diego Opera kicked off its 2014 season with "Pagliacci." Photo Credit: Cory Weaver
File photo: San Diego Opera kicked off its 2014 season with "Pagliacci." Photo Credit: Cory Weaver

The San Diego Opera's Board of Directors voted Wednesday to fold next month, following the final performance of its 2014 season.

The opera will wind down operations after the last performance of "Don Quixote" on April 13, CEO Ian Campbell said.

"After nearly 50 years as a San Diego cultural cornerstone providing world-class performances, we saw we faced an insurmountable financial hurdle going forward," Campbell said. "We had a choice of winding down with dignity and grace, making every effort to fulfill our financial obligations, or inevitably entering bankruptcy, as have several other opera companies."

Board Chairwoman Karen Cohn said it was a heart-wrenching, but unavoidable decision.

"After 28 consecutive years of balanced budgets, it was clear that we could not continue," Cohn said. "In spite of excellent financial management, the Opera faced increasingly higher ticket-sale and fund-raising hurdles."

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 will stage one performance of Verdi's "Requiem" March 20, and four performances of Massenet's "Don Quixote" April 5, 8, 11 and 13 before ceasing operations.

"Although it is a sad day for San Diego culturally, we have to thank everyone who supported us for nearly 50 years," Campbell added. "It is better to go out with dignity, on a high note with heads held high than to slip into the night, leaving creditors and community in the lurch."

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.

—City News Service

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