San Diego Business Journal

Opera Sets Fundraising Goal of $1M for Possible 2015 Season

By Mike Allen Thursday, May 1, 2014

The San Diego Opera set a $1 million fundraising goal for its 2015 season, and said it’s already received about $400,000 toward that goal.

The embattled nonprofit arts group said the funds were raised in three days, with 85 percent of the donations coming in gifts of less than $1,000, many from first time donors.

In March, the opera’s board voted 33-1 to shut down and liquidate its assets, despite financial reports showing it had about $15.6 million in net assets.

After several meetings, a reconstituted board of directors voted to consider alternative options, and to reconvene May 19 to determine whether a season, which would be its 50th, is possible.

In other news, the opera said its longtime general and artistic director Ian Campbell and his former wife, Ann Spira Campbell, the opera’s deputy general director, have been placed on an indefinite leave of absence.

The Campbells earn combined annual salaries of nearly $800,000.

The opera’s executive committee said it elected new officers: Carol Lazier as president; Courtney Ann Coyle as executive vice president; James Merritt, Lazier’s husband, as vice president of finance; and Frances Marshall as secretary/ parliamentarian.

The opera has created a website for donations.