San Diego Opera closure delayed - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

San Diego Opera closure delayed

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - 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.

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 thepetitionsite.com 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.

"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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