Final curtain call for SD Opera may be this weekend - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Final curtain call for SD Opera may be this weekend

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Opera Friday enters what could be its final weekend following last month's decision to cease operations at the end of the season.

Performances of "Don Quixote" are scheduled for 7 tonight and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave.

The opera's board of directors decided to shut down while it could still pay off creditors, a few days after Sunday's final show. The effective date was later amended to April 29.

The move was met with howls of protest from employees and the public.

On Tuesday, around 50 staff and singers asked the San Diego City Council for unspecified assistance in keeping the 49-year-old company open.

Carlos Cota, the business representative for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 122, told the council members that several board members are now working to try to save the opera.

Nicolas Reveles, the organization's director of education, said nearly 50 full-time staff members, along with about 350 local musicians, singers and other tradespeople, depend on the opera season's five months of work.

He said the opera has a nearly $7 million impact on the local economy. The San Diego Symphony alone earned $1.4 million in revenue during this season, and the San Diego Civic Theatre made $800,000, he said.

Board President Karen Cohn told reporters last week that the opera needed to raise at least $10 million to put on a 50th season.

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.

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