- San Diego Opera general director Ian Campbell put on a happy face when analyzing audience attendance statistics.
While this season's opening production of "Rigoletto" brought in average houses of 92%, the company's respectable average for the last two years, the second offering of the season, Donizetti's opera buffa "L'Elisir d'Amore," filled only 86% of the Civic Theatre.
It was the first time San Diego Opera produced the opera, so Campbell blamed this drop in attendance on the unfamiliarity of the piece.
"When I asked people in the audience if our production was their first professional experience (hearing that opera), most of them told me that they had never heard of the opera before," explained Campbell. "So if this number of people were willing to come to something they've never heard of, it bodes well for more challenging operas in coming seasons."
One such challenge on Campbell's list is the scheduled production of Francis Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites," a 20th-Century French opera that will be part of the company's 1990 International Series. Campbell said that Richard Bonynge will conduct the opera.