Two meetings scheduled on future of SD Opera

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Two meetings on the future of the San Diego Opera are
scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon.

The company's Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at a La Jolla
hotel. Supporters of keeping the embattled opera afloat will gather in a public
meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the Copper Room of the City Hall complex in downtown
San Diego.

The board last month voted to close the opera, citing an untenable
financial condition. However, the decision has met with harsh criticism, and
several board members are looking for a way to save the opera.

The most recent season concluded Sunday.

Nicolas Reveles, the opera's director of education who is organizing the
meeting, has 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.

A lawyer for more than 30 vocalists filed a lawsuit this week to compel
the opera to submit to arbitration over their contracts. The opera's attorney
has responded that arbitration is premature since the contracts have not been

The opera has a nearly $7 million impact on the local economy, according
to Reveles. 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.

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.

Categories: KUSI