Why was San Diego panicked into shutting down?

Why was San Diego panicked into shutting down?


norman lebrecht

March 20, 2014

Up to the last board-room minute yesterday, plans were being made for a 50th season of opera in San Diego. Directors and conductors were planning productions. We know of one singer who, just a few days ago, received a signed contract for next season. The suddennes of the decision is perplexing.

So why was San Diego panicked into shutting down?



san diego opera2

Was there a financial shortfall that has not been disclosed?

Did its general manager run out of energy after 30 years?

To terminate an opera company with such finality after a season is fully planned begs more questions than Ian Campbell was prepared to answer. Full disclosure will out in due course but, for the moment, there are question marks over this precipitate closure.

san diego opera


  • Amy says:

    Checking out San Diego Opera’s website, I can find nothing about any person except Ian Campbell, who bears the title “General Director” “Artistic Director” and “CEO.” ,..although there is a single blurb about the “resident conductor”, Karen Keltner.

    There is no named staff to contact, no apparent board of directors listed anywhere. Just this man in charge of everything except conducting the musicians.


  • Amy says:

    I see also that General Director Et Cetera Campbell did attempt to raise funds, using his own executive anniversary as inspiration. I guess that didn’t do the job well enough…


  • Roberto says:

    Check his contract; by not declaring bankruptcy, the assets are not frozen by creditors. Thus, he gets his salary, pension and his contract is honored. He walks away with a couple of million. His wife, the development director (!?) gets the same . Her salary was $300k. They board buys in and suggests a noble route from dreaded bankruptcy and the Director and his wife clean up.

    • Amy says:

      I heard reports that the development director and the General Director Et Cetera were divorced not long ago.

      Now, what that does to two healthy salaries, I have no idea.