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Embattled San Diego Opera Raises 30% of $1 Million Crowdfunding Goal in 3 Days

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Apr 28, 2014 11:35 PM EDT

The San Diego Opera launched a crowdfunding campaign on Friday, April 25 with the goal of raising $1 million by May 19 to fund the company's 2015 season.

As of Monday evening, the campaign has raised $304,565, or about 30 percent of the $1 million goal. With 21 days left to go, the odds of achieving that lofty goal are looking good.

This is some positive news for the financially troubled opera company, which was originally scheduled to shut down permanently after the company's last production, Massenet's Don Quixote, ended earlier this month.

But the company's board of directors recently voted to move the closing date to May 19, giving the board more time to raise funds to save the opera company.

When General Director Ian Campbell first announced the company's imminent shutdown, many music lovers in the community were very vocal in their support of the opera company.

"The public support for San Diego Opera's future has been overwhelming," said acting board president Carol Lazier. "People could not accept their beloved opera was disappearing and took to the streets in protest."

She added "We heard you. But now it is up to you. The new San Diego Opera will not only depend on large gifts, but the community's engagement and support. Every gift is needed--large, small and in between.

"From an acorn we will grow a mighty tree."

It looks like that tree has already taken root and started growing.

Changes, too, are happening in the opera company's leadership. Lazier announced on Friday that Campbell and his ex-wife, Ann Spira Campbell, the company's deputy general director, have been placed on a leave of absence.

The company also announced that Executive Director Keith Fisher has been named Chief Operating Officer. Fisher will manage the staff and resources of the company as they work toward a solution to the company's financial problems.

"I have known Keith for a number of years," Lazier said in a statement released by the company. "I have the utmost faith in his ability to handle the current needs of the Company with urgency, clarity, and discretion. He leads an incredible staff facing its greatest challenge in the Opera's 49-year history. The work will be difficult, we will be exhausted, but I believe that with this team we'll emerge as a stronger, better opera company for all of San Diego."

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TagsSan Diego Opera, crowdfunding, Ian Campbell, Carol Lazier, Ann Spira Campbell, Keith Fisher, Don Quixote, Massenet

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