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Yorba Linda Light Opera Cancels '99 Season

Funding Founder thinks money problems can be overcome and is planning on offerings in 2000.

May 14, 1999|CHRIS PASLES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Money troubles have forced the Yorba Linda Civic Light Opera to cancel its 1999 season, but company officials say they have no intention of folding.

"We are planning to have a season next year," said Virginia DeLand, who founded the company in 1985. "A lot will depend on our having the money. What we really need is ongoing financial help."

Efforts to get that help, such as private fund-raisers, are in the works, DeLand said.

The 1999 season, at the Forum Theatre on Fairmont Boulevard, was to have opened in February with "Funny Girl" and would have continued this month with "Forever Plaid" and ended in September with "Carousel."

"In the past, we've usually done four productions," DeLand said. "We decided we were going to do three this year and run them longer. That's a better way to go because each time you put up a show, you have a lot of money invested in it. We'd still have the same number of performances."

The budget for each show has ranged from $20,000 to $30,000, she said. That money previously has come from a combination of ticket sales, fund-raising and donations.

Last year, however, the Yorba Linda City Council responded to an appeal for emergency funding by giving the company $21,472 to pay back rent on the 314-seat Forum Theatre, which is managed by the North Orange County Community College District.

A suggestion made at that council meeting for the creation of a fine-arts council to help support arts in the city, however, was never acted on, according to City Manager Arthur Simonian.

Yorba Linda CLO has not requested any funding in the current preliminary city budget, according to the city's accounting manager, Mary Kinney.

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