San Diego Opera gets $1M donation

SAN DIEGO - The sudden and controversial closure of the San Diego Opera got more interesting after a board member announced a $1 million donation towards exploring how to keep the establishment afloat for another year.

KPBS reported Saturday that board member Carol Lazier made the donation to give the opera an opportunity to examine new, more sustainable business models.

In a statement, Lazier said she donated the money “to encourage us to rescind the dissolution vote as soon as possible.”

"This money is not being given to restart raising financial support from the community for the company as it exists today,” Lazier wrote. “Raising public support can only come after we have a workable business plan.”

On March 19, the opera announced that the board of directors had voted to shutter it at the conclusion of the season because of serious ongoing financial issues. However, since then, questions have arisen over the opera’s budgetary decision-making and possible fiscal mismanagement.

On March 31, the board reversed course, voting to delay the closure for two weeks to provide time to allow the opera to raise the estimated $10 million it would need to remain open for another season.

This season will conclude with three performances of Massenet's "Don Quixote" on April  8, 11 and 13.

The San Diego Opera originated as the San Diego Opera Guild in 1950. The San Diego Opera Association was incorporated in 1965.

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