A longtime patron has pledged $35 million to the San Francisco Opera in one of the largest donations to an American opera company by a single benefactor.
Jeannik Littlefield served on San Francisco Opera's board of directors from 1977 to 1992 and has been a longtime supporter of the company along with her late husband, industrialist Edmund Wattis Littlefield.
The pledge comes without restrictions, and $10 million would go into annual operating expenses, General Director David Gockley said. The rest would augment the company's endowment, which stands at about $90 million, he said.
The gift is expected to keep the company in the black, after it recently emerged from multimillion-dollar budget deficits that had prompted cutbacks and a number of private donations to cover the shortfall.