There is no soft way to break bad news.
The first word came out of the rehearsal room:
Someone just said, “rehearsal was just halted so they could announce this to us. What a sad time. The San Diego Opera is closing it’s doors after the next production of “Don Quichotte.
Hours later, the board of San Diego Opera voted 33-1 to cease operations next month. The company will have sung and played for 49 years.
Ian Campbell, San Diego’s general and artistic director and CEO, said in a statement: ‘We faced an insurmountable financial hurdle going forward. 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.
‘Our board voted today to take the first choice.’
Campbell, hired from the Met, has run San Diego since 1983. The company had a $15 million annual budget.
Its closure, coming in the same season as the collapse of New York’s City Opera, is a vital indicator of the frail health of opera in America.
Closures in 2014 cannot be blamed on recession; we’re over that. It reflects a lack of will to sustain an expensive art form.
On top of this season’s two corpses, Houston is cutting back. Insiders are starting to ask, who’s next?
And why the rush to shut down?
photo: Krassimira Stoyanova and Piotr Beczala in San Diego Opera’s recent Ballo. Photo: Ken Howard