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Tara Colburn, 61; Photographer, Board Member of L.A. Opera

May 27, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Tara Glynn Colburn, major benefactor and founding board member of the Los Angeles Opera at its inception in 1986, has died at the age of 61.

Colburn died Friday of cancer in Geneva, Los Angeles Opera officials said.

As a part of her philanthropy, Colburn underwrote the recent production of "The Barber of Seville" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and was a co-sponsor of the production of "Madama Butterfly" planned for next season.

Although Colburn spoke five languages, she was a champion of translating opera texts into English and displaying them in supertitles to make opera more accessible to the audience.

Born Tarasenka Pankiv in Zagreb, Croatia, she grew up in an artistic family. Her grandfather was director of the Conservatory of Zagreb, and her mother, Borislava Horvat, was a concert pianist who began teaching her daughter to play the piano when Tara was 5.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday May 28, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 50 words Type of Material: Correction
Colburn obituary -- The obituary of Tara Glynn Colburn in Tuesday's California section gave an incorrect address for memorial donations. Contributions can be sent to the Tara Colburn Fund, 426 S. Arden Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90020. Donations in her name can also be made to the Los Angeles Opera.

As a girl, she also studied ballet and saw her first opera, "The Flying Dutchman," in Croatia.

After her father was imprisoned and killed by Communists, she fled Zagreb with her mother and studied at Ursuline Convent in Germany. After living in Paris, she moved to Los Angeles and studied gem analysis and design.

Married and divorced from John Glynn and Richard D. Colburn, she made several trips to India to photograph tribal people and staged six exhibitions of her photographs in India and Europe.

Her photographic collection has been donated to UCLA.

Colburn, who is survived by her son, Cyril Wohrer, was also an active supporter of the Long Beach Opera and of the Salzburg Festival in Austria as a member of the board of the American Friends of Salzburg.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Tara Colburn Fund, 416 S. Arden Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90020; or to the Los Angeles Opera, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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