After almost 50 years of bringing beautiful, glass-shatteringly high notes to the stage, the San Diego Opera shocked the local arts and culture community by announcing it’ll pull the curtain for the final time at the end of the 2014 season.
The opera’s artistic director Ian D. Campbell lamented to VOSD’s Scott Lewis that dwindling attendance and revenue losses as the main reasons for shutting down.
“I do have a concern that we’re losing many supporters as they age and if you look at the programs of the opera, symphony, (La Jolla) Playhouse, Old Globe, many of the same names are listed,” Campbell said. “This should be a wake-up call.”
The news came as a surprise to many and has been covered widely by local and national media outlets. It’s kind of a big deal, guys.
In a press release sent out March 19, Campbell said the board of directors chose to shut down “with dignity and grace, making every effort to fulfill our financial obligations,” rather than face bankruptcy.
Mission Edge CFO David Fuhriman had some words to share on the opera’s demise in an op-ed, pulling from his experience working with nonprofits to shed some light on what the institution might be dealing with.
It’s a tough decision that many arts institutions have had to make. Still, local culture vultures have rallied to try to save the San Diego Opera. A Facebook page already launched, linking to an impassioned online petition for the board of directors to give the opera another chance. More than 4,000 people have liked the page, and the petition has upwards of 5,500 signatures.