San Diego Opera to consider future again Friday

SAN DIEGO - Will the San Diego Opera die Friday? Not likely multiple sources told 10News.

The opera’s board of directors will meet Friday at 2 p.m. at the Hyatt in La Jolla to decide what its next steps will be.

Some of the board members will be looking for ways to keep the struggling opera open, while others agree with current management that the opera is not in any position to continue.

They will likely be wrestling over financial information that was provided to Team10 Thursday evening.  

(Scroll down to the bottom of this story for links and explanations of each financial document.)

Each one lays out management’s argument that sustaining the opera is a tough long shot, and, unless there is a miracle, the doors should close. However, given the late hour the charts were received, 10News did not have a chance to have them reviewed in depth by experts.

10News attempted to reach some accountants who might have shed more light on what the figures reveal.  In addition, calls to board members were not immediately returned.

Management and their supporters cited these documents as evidence supporting their arguments to close the opera.  However, employees and board members opposing the closure have argued the information is not detailed enough. They have requested more thorough documentation.

One source on the board did have issues with the “Manifesto” released by management early Thursday, complaining that the statement was worded in such a way that it left open the possibilities of big payouts to Director Ian Campbell and his wife, Ann Spira Campbell.  

Meanwhile, well- known attorney Mark Fabiani of San Diego Chargers fame has joined the management team.

 “I am volunteering, pro bono as they say in the law, to help with the Opera situation,” Fabiani told 10News.  
One goal is to provide information in a timely manner on the discussions over the opera’s future.  He backed up that promise by sending over to 10News the charts provided.

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 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.


Cash Flow Chart -- This chart shows when the $10 million Kroc Fund will run out and when other reserves will be depleted.

Cash Flow Chart Pt. 2 -- This chart continues into the future showing how much money is needed by what dates to keep the opera running.

Net Assets Breakdown -- This chart shows what sort of assets the San Diego Opera has. It notes that 9 percent of those assets are considered liquid assets.

Financial Obligations Chart -- This chart has the obligations facing the Opera after April 2014. It includes breakdowns on Ian and Ann Spira Campbell’s contracts, vacation time and benefits. It also includes where the opera hopes the sources for money will be coming from.

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