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San Diego Opera Makes Cuts, Lays Off 13

The season will open Jan. 24 with "La boheme," followed by "Don Giovanni" and "Nixon in China."

San Diego Opera kicks off its 2014 season with "Pagliacci." Photo Credit: Cory Weaver.
San Diego Opera kicks off its 2014 season with "Pagliacci." Photo Credit: Cory Weaver.

Four days after announcing that its 2015 season was saved by donations, the San Diego Opera is cutting 13 full-time staff positions, it was reported Friday.

The decision came as leaders of the opera company grapple with a budget reduction from $17 million to $10.5 million, U-T San Diego reported.

Opera officials were not available to comment directly.

On Monday, opera board President Carol Lazier announced that enough money had been raised to begin planning for a 2015 season set to start next January.

The company in March announced its intention to cease operations as it faced what was then believed to be insurmountable fiscal woes. However, Lazier said the opera subsequently raised $4.5 million, nearly half of which came from an online crowdfunding campaign. The Poway philanthropist provided $1 million herself.

The newspaper quoted her as saying the business model was unsustainable. The company had 43 full-time employees.

The opera still needs to raise $2 million in donations and net around $3.5 million in ticket sales and other proceeds next season to make ends meet, according to spokesman Edward Wilensky.

The season will open Jan. 24 with "La boheme," followed by "Don Giovanni" and "Nixon in China." Gala concerts will close the series of performances in April.

—City News Service

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