The struggling Long Beach Civic Light Opera got a much-needed break this week when the City Council agreed to offer the group a funding package worth $490,000 a year for the next two years.
The Civic Light Opera will have to match the city's contribution through fund raising.
City officials agreed to defer $130,360 a year in rent for the organization's use of the city-owned Terrace Theater, although the rent eventually will have to be repaid. The Civic Light Opera also will receive a gift of $25,000 each year from the theater's management company, Spectacor Management Group.
Parking fees at the Convention Center will also be increased by $1, and city staff will seek other funding sources to provide the remainder, said Assistant City Manager Henry Taboada.
About 40 jubilant supporters of the light opera company burst into applause after the council's 8-0 vote in favor of the new funding. Councilman Thomas J. Clark was absent.
The Civic Light Opera has been struggling with declining ticket sales and rising costs for years. This summer, two top administrators also left, forcing the Civic Light Opera to postpone next month's season opener, "Can-Can," until January.