SD Opera Board President, 12 Others Resign

Karen Cohn is no longer the board's president, and 12 other directors have resigned

 As the battle to keep the San Diego Opera open rages on, NBC 7 has learned that the president of its board of directors has resigned, along with a dozen other directors.

President Karen Cohn tendered her resignation at a 4-hour, closed board meeting in La Jolla Thursday, according to Director of Media Relations Edward Wilenski. Twelve others followed suit and were seen storming out of the meeting.

Carol Lazier was then voted in as acting board president.

Along with the shake-up in administration, the remaining board members voted to defer the company's closing date to at least May 19. The deadline was originally set for April 29. 

During the meeting, the board heard from an Opera America consultant about alternatives that could keep the opera open for the 2015 season – its 50th year.

The reorganization presentation included a plan to scale back the operations and initiate significant fundraisers.

"We have a devoted staff, an energized Association and a board newly focused on finding novel and fiscally responsible ways to present great opera to the City of San Diego," said Lazier in a statement. "I have been deeply encouraged by the outpouring of public support, and the genuine and enthusiastic participation by the San Diego Symphony, Opera America, and the opera world. Together we can recreate San Diego Opera’s future."

Earlier this month, Lazier donated $1 million to the company to research ways to revamp the opera's fundraising models, repertoire and production with new cost-saving measures.

As the board met in La Jolla, about 200 people gathered downtown Thursday afternoon at the San Diego Civic Theater to rally to keep the curtains open.

On Sunday, supporters held a vigil after the opera's final performance to mourn the death of the institution. 

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