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ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By David Ng
The president of San Diego Opera's board of directors resigned Thursday and walked out of an afternoon board meeting, deepening the uncertainty surrounding the troubled company.   A number of other board members also resigned Thursday, though it remained unclear how many of the nearly 60 members have officially stepped down. Karen Cohn had served as the board president and has been acting as the public voice of the company during much of the tumult following its March announcement that it was closing.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2014 | David Ng
San Diego Opera has placed its longtime general and artistic director Ian Campbell on paid leave after a three-decade tenure that has been rocked in recent weeks by public and internal criticism over his role in the decision to close the company. The opera said in a news release Friday that Campbell and his ex-wife, Ann Spira-Campbell, who is a high-ranking administrator in the company, have both been placed on leave. A company spokesman said in an interview that the Campbells will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization, but they are still being paid and are technically still part of the company.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2014 | By David Ng
San Diego Opera has postponed its closure by two weeks in order to give its board of directors time to seek out new funding from the city and other donors. The postponement comes in the wake of a public backlash against the company for its abrupt announcement last month that it would shut down.  The decision to postpone the closure until April 29 was made during a Monday board meeting, according to Karen Cohn, president of the board. She said San Diego Opera would need to find a major donation on the order of Joan Kroc's $10-million bequest in order to continue operating as it has in the past.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By David Ng
Following a 20-year run, conductor Jeffrey Kahane will step down from his position as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, the group announced on Wednesday. Kahane will be named music director laureate at the end of his tenure, which will be the longest of any music director in the ensemble's history. No successor has been announced. Leaders said that the board of directors will be launching a search to find a new music director.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By David Ng
San Diego Opera has enlisted the spin expertise of Mark Fabiani -- the  former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and former special counsel to President Bill Clinton -- to handle the company's public relations as it faces mounting criticism over its decision to shut down. A PR man with a long roster of prominent clients, Fabiani was an ascendant L.A. politician during the '80s. He served as the chief of staff under L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley and also took on the role of deputy mayor. Fabiani later served as special counsel to President Clinton, advising him on the Whitewater scandal and other matters.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2014 | By David Ng
Less than a week after it announced that it was postponing the deadline for its closure, San Diego Opera said it has received a $1-million gift from a board member that is intended to help the company regroup and develop a new business model.   Board member Carol Lazier said in a release sent by the company late Friday that she is giving the money "to encourage us to rescind the dissolution vote as soon as possible. "  San Diego Opera surprised many in March when it announced that it would cease operations after five decades due to financial difficulties stemming from weak box-office receipts and declining donations.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2014 | David Ng
San Diego Opera has placed its longtime general and artistic director Ian Campbell on paid leave after a three-decade tenure that has been rocked in recent weeks by public and internal criticism over his role in the decision to close the company. The opera said in a news release Friday that Campbell and his ex-wife, Ann Spira-Campbell, who is a high-ranking administrator in the company, have both been placed on leave. A company spokesman said in an interview that the Campbells will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization, but they are still being paid and are technically still part of the company.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
SAN DIEGO - On the first page of the program booklet for San Diego Opera's stirring performance of Verdi's Requiem Thursday night at Civic Theatre, the company's board president, Karen S. Cohn, ended her welcoming note with the line: "I can't wait to see you in 2015 for our 50th anniversary season!" She can wait. The day before, out of the blue, the San Diego Opera board voted 33 to 1 to cease operations of the city's third largest cultural institution after the final production of the season next month.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By David Ng
It will be curtains for the venerated San Diego Opera. In a surprising move, the company announced Wednesday that it will cease operations at the end of the current season, citing financial reasons including a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales. The company said its board made the decision Wednesday to avoid declaring bankruptcy and to be able to honor its remaining commitments. GRAPHIC: Highest-earning art executives | Highest-earning conductors San Diego Opera, which was created close to 50 years ago, has a strong national reputation and is ranked among the top 10 U.S. opera companies, according to the national nonprofit Opera America.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By David Ng
San Diego Opera set a new deadline of May 19 to obtain new funding or close down after the resignation Thursday of 13 members of its board of directors, including President Karen Cohn. The new deadline will give the reconstituted board time to raise money to keep the company alive -- though what form it might take is uncertain. Under discussion at Thursday's meeting was a motion that stated in part that "additional information has come to the attention of the board regarding the prospects of new funding.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By David Ng
San Diego Opera set a new deadline of May 19 to obtain new funding or close down after the resignation Thursday of 13 members of its board of directors, including President Karen Cohn. The new deadline will give the reconstituted board time to raise money to keep the company alive -- though what form it might take is uncertain. Under discussion at Thursday's meeting was a motion that stated in part that "additional information has come to the attention of the board regarding the prospects of new funding.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By David Ng
The president of San Diego Opera's board of directors resigned Thursday and walked out of an afternoon board meeting, deepening the uncertainty surrounding the troubled company.   A number of other board members also resigned Thursday, though it remained unclear how many of the nearly 60 members have officially stepped down. Karen Cohn had served as the board president and has been acting as the public voice of the company during much of the tumult following its March announcement that it was closing.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2014 | By David Ng
The Sunday matinee of "Don Quixote" officially was San Diego Opera's final staging after five decades in existence, but the fate of the company still hangs in the balance as supporters fight to keep the opera afloat. The company's board of directors met Friday afternoon and voted to keep an April 29 deadline for the opera's closure. But the board also formed a special committee of six members to explore alternatives to shutting down. In a letter sent to employees on Sunday, Karen Cohn, the board president, said the meeting included a discussion of a reduced 2015 season, but that the board concluded that such an option would be viable only if staff cuts were made and if "we could raise substantial bridge funding for the summer.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By David Ng
San Diego Opera has enlisted the spin expertise of Mark Fabiani -- the  former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and former special counsel to President Bill Clinton -- to handle the company's public relations as it faces mounting criticism over its decision to shut down. A PR man with a long roster of prominent clients, Fabiani was an ascendant L.A. politician during the '80s. He served as the chief of staff under L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley and also took on the role of deputy mayor. Fabiani later served as special counsel to President Clinton, advising him on the Whitewater scandal and other matters.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By David Ng
SAN DIEGO - Judging by the audience's reaction, the villain at the San Diego Opera's swan-song production of "Don Quixote" may have taken the stage before the curtain was even raised. As the house lights were about to go down Saturday night, Ian Campbell made a surprise appearance on stage - to raucous boos and heckling from many in the crowd of nearly 3,000. Even so, he also managed to win applause, and at one point several dozen people stood up in his support. Campbell, the company's longtime general and artistic director, is under fire for pushing to close the opera, which has suffered from declining attendance and donations.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2014 | By David Ng
Less than a week after it announced that it was postponing the deadline for its closure, San Diego Opera said it has received a $1-million gift from a board member that is intended to help the company regroup and develop a new business model.   Board member Carol Lazier said in a release sent by the company late Friday that she is giving the money "to encourage us to rescind the dissolution vote as soon as possible. "  San Diego Opera surprised many in March when it announced that it would cease operations after five decades due to financial difficulties stemming from weak box-office receipts and declining donations.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 2014 | By David Ng
SAN DIEGO - Judging by the audience's reaction, the villain at the San Diego Opera's swan-song production of "Don Quixote" may have taken the stage before the curtain was even raised. As the house lights were about to go down Saturday night, Ian Campbell made a surprise appearance on stage - to raucous boos and heckling from many in the crowd of nearly 3,000. Even so, he also managed to win applause, and at one point several dozen people stood up in his support. Campbell, the company's longtime general and artistic director, is under fire for pushing to close the opera, which has suffered from declining attendance and donations.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2014 | By David Ng and Mike Boehm
There's nothing opera buffs like better than a climactic death scene. But the one that San Diego Opera scripted for itself has gone over so badly that its leaders are now trying to write a new ending. Last month's sudden announcement that the opera would shut down just short of its 50th anniversary next year raised an outcry from patrons and company members alike, who said they didn't have any advance warning of the company's escalating financial troubles. A faction of the board, which has close to 60 members, has succeeded in getting the closure postponed by two weeks, to April 29, in hopes that last-ditch pleas for donations can keep the lights on. More than 20,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the opera to be saved.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2014 | By David Ng and Mike Boehm
There's nothing opera buffs like better than a climactic death scene. But the one that San Diego Opera scripted for itself has gone over so badly that its leaders are now trying to write a new ending. Last month's sudden announcement that the opera would shut down just short of its 50th anniversary next year raised an outcry from patrons and company members alike, who said they didn't have any advance warning of the company's escalating financial troubles. A faction of the board, which has close to 60 members, has succeeded in getting the closure postponed by two weeks, to April 29, in hopes that last-ditch pleas for donations can keep the lights on. More than 20,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the opera to be saved.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2014 | By David Ng
San Diego Opera has postponed its closure by two weeks in order to give its board of directors time to seek out new funding from the city and other donors. The postponement comes in the wake of a public backlash against the company for its abrupt announcement last month that it would shut down.  The decision to postpone the closure until April 29 was made during a Monday board meeting, according to Karen Cohn, president of the board. She said San Diego Opera would need to find a major donation on the order of Joan Kroc's $10-million bequest in order to continue operating as it has in the past.
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