San Diego Opera saved by crowdfunding efforts

The San Diego Opera has survived closure and will continue with its 2015 season following a successful crowdfunding campaign.

In March this year, the board announced the company would have to sell its assets due to lack of funds and poor ticket sales. It set a closure date of 14 April, the day after San Diego’s sold-out performance of Don Quixote.

However several board members later voted to delay the closure until May, and rallied support for a new fundraising drive. The campaign raised over USD2m (€1.5m), and received donations from throughout Europe and North America. Just under half of all donors had never before given to the opera. Gifts ranged from USD10 to USD50,000, with a median average of USD100.

Read: To charge or not to charge – high ticket prices versus audience donations

The campaign was spearheaded by philanthropist Carol Lazier, who took over the role of board president when Ian Campbell resigned following the April meetings.

‘The public spoke, we listened, and we’re open for business,’ Lazier said in a statement.

Performances of La Bohème, Don Giovanni and the San Diego premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China all feature on the 2015 season.

Despite the initial success of the campaign, the company still needs to raise USD6.5m to meet its operating budget.

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Image: John Adams’ Nixon In China © Ken Howard/Opera Theatre of St Louis