San Diego Opera hopes to raise $1 million

Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 20:09:13-05

The San Diego Opera announced a $1 million fundraising campaign Tuesday with a goal of ensuring "world class" productions for years to come.

The opera -- on the brink of extinction two years ago because of financial troubles -- is seeking $500,000 in donations from the community, which will be matched by a group of benefactors to reach the seven-figure goal.

Opera officials said they hope to raise the funds by May 7, in time for the opening of its show, "Great Scott."

"I'm overwhelmed by the continued support and generosity of our supporters who have agreed to match any contribution up to a half-million dollars, dollar-for-dollar, during this campaign," said David Bennett, San Diego Opera's general director. "The community's belief in a new vision of opera is what made coming to San Diego so attractive to me, and this support will allow us to build upon the successes of the past two years and pave the way for San Diego Opera's future."

The San Diego Opera's announcement in March 2014 that it would cease operations was overturned after new board members were elected and fundraising improved.

The company on Saturday began its 51st mainstage season with the operatic thriller "Tosca."

A statement announcing the fundraising campaign also said five major productions were being planned for next year, including three shows at the San Diego Civic Theatre and two others in more intimate venues.