After a large shake-up in its administration, San Diego Opera supporters gathered Monday to see if they can salvage the institution.
Members of the San Diego Opera Association met in Copley Hall at the Civic Center Plaza to talk about ways to save and raise money.
Donors who had given $100 or more – and thus had a vested interest in the outcome – were invited to attend.
While no decisions were made, Board of Directors members discussed cutting jobs, moving office space and reducing salaries to save funds.
The meeting comes after the opera’s General and Artistic Director /CEO Ian Campbell and Deputy General Director Ann Spira Campbell were placed on paid leave last week. Keith Fisher – the executive director for the past 12 years – was named CEO.
With new leadership and new direction, many in Monday’s meeting felt optimistic about the company’s future.
“I think it’s been an exciting meeting. They’ve already advised the regular board of directors to rescind the motion that was elected March 19th to close the company, so we know what direction these folks want to go, which is really terrific,” said Nicolas Reveles, the director of education and outreach for the opera.
The next step will be to raise enough money to put on a 2015 season. The group hopes to get $1 million by May 19, and they’ve received $237,000 of their goal.
The opera opened fundraising options to the public after the board created an escrow account that allows the company to return money to donors if their goal isn’t met.
Continuing a long day of meetings, the board got together after the association’s session to talk in private about new business strategies, alternative performance venues, innovative ways to produce operas and other cost-cutting measures.