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San Diego Opera to close

San Diego Opera is to close at the end of its current season, with its last performance being Don Quixote on 13 April 2014.

The company has been under increasing financial pressure for some time, and the executive committee took the decision on 19 March 2014 to wind up operations.

Founded in 1950 to present San Francisco Opera productions locally, San Diego Opera began generating its own productions in 1965 under the leadership of its founding general director Walter Herbert.

Herbert died in 1975, and his replacement, Tito Capobianco, was able to expand to six productions per season, bringing in big name singers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills and Joan Sutherland, and introducing an annual Verdi Festival, all of which brought the company to the notice of the international opera community.

The company's current general and artistic director, Australian-born Ian Campbell (previously a tenor with Australian Opera, assistant artistic administrator at New York Metropolitan Opera and a stage director, radio broadcaster and writer) took over from Capobianco in 1983. He brought financial stability, an expanded season, a concert programme, the North American Voices Project (which became a model for opera companies throughout the United States) and the largest and most diverse educational outreach offering of any American opera company.

Posted: 20 March 2014

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