The San Diego Opera Association (SDO) is a professional opera company located in the city of San Diego, California. It incorporated in 1965, presenting operas under the name of the San Diego Opera,it is a member of the professional association OPERA America, which ranked it among the top ten opera companies in the United States.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
San Diego is a city in the U.S. state of California. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
The company was founded in 1950 as the San Diego Opera Guild,originally to present traveling productions by San Francisco Opera in the San Diego area. SDO began to stage its own productions in 1965, its first one being La bohème . From the beginning, the company performed at the San Diego Civic Theatre in Downtown San Diego. Until the 2008 recession, it presented five operas each season; in 2008 this was reduced to four productions, scheduled from January to April.
San Francisco Opera (SFO) is an American opera company, based in San Francisco, California.
La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini; its U.S. premiere took place the following year, 1897, in Los Angeles. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide.
The San Diego Civic Theatre is a 2,967-capacity performing arts venue located in downtown San Diego, California. It is the performing home of the San Diego Opera and hosts other entertainment such as concerts and musicals. The facility opened in 1965.
In March 2014 the opera board announced that the 2014 season would be its last,but this decision was later rescinded by the company's board of directors, and a cut down version of the already planned 2015 season was announced, reducing the number of titles from four to three.
The founding SDO general director was Walter Herbert, who served in that position from 1965 until his death in 1975. Tito Capobianco served as general director from 1976 to 1983, during which time he "expanded the season to six productions, featuring renowned superstars such as Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti and Beverly Sills",as well as beginning an annual two-opera Verdi Festival which ceased in 1984 after his departure.
Walter Herbert was an American conductor and impresario of German birth, and also a world champion at contract bridge.
Tito Capobianco was an Argentine American stage director of opera.
Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE was an Australian-born coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s.
The resident conductor of SDO is Karen Keltner. Since 2005, SDO's principal guest conductor has been Edoardo Müller.
Edoardo Müller was an Italian conductor who was chiefly recognized for his interpretations of bel canto operas. A frequent guest conductor with opera houses internationally, he had a lengthy association with the San Diego Opera which spanned 31 years. He was also an accomplished pianist who accompanied several notable singers in recitals and concerts; including Carlo Bergonzi, Renato Bruson, Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Leyla Gencer, Elena Obraztsova, and Renata Tebaldi. His work is preserved on recordings made for the Philips, BMG, Bongiovanni, and Orfeo record labels. He served as conductor for Joyce DiDonato's 2009 CD Colbran, the Muse: Rossini Opera Arias.
Between 1983 and May 2014, the general director was Ian Campbell who achieved considerable success as well as creating financial stability for the company.Campbell left the company in May 2014, following his contentious recommendation to shut down the opera.
Ian David Campbell is an Australian-born opera singer, stage director, administrator, radio broadcaster and writer. He was the General Director and Artistic Director of San Diego Opera from 1983 until 2014. In the 1960s and 1970s he sang opera as a tenor, then moved into opera management.
Following Campbell's departure, it was announced on May 30 that former director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, William Mason, had been appointed to the newly created position of artistic adviser to SDO.Mason commented, "They want me to help guide the company though the next season or two....I'll finalize some artistic and production details, help reduce expenses and get the board and the staff working together to figure out what the company can and should do as it moves forward."
In March 2015 the company announced the hiring of David Bennett, executive director of the Gotham Chamber Opera, as General Director of the San Diego Opera. He will start on June 15, 2015.
Since 2005, musicians from the San Diego Symphony have performed as the pit orchestra for San Diego Opera.
Notable artists, in addition to those named above, who have performed with San Diego Opera include Ferruccio Furlanetto, Denyce Graves, Richard Bonynge, Richard Leech, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Jane Eaglen, Richard Margison, Jerry Hadley, Vivica Genaux, Isabel Bayrakdarian, James Westman and Carol Vaness.
Notable productions include the world premieres of Gian Carlo Menotti's La Loca (1979, written for and starring Beverly Sills), Myron Fink's The Conquistador (1993), and Alva Henderson's Medea. United States premieres included Daniel Catán's Rapaccini's Daughter , Hans Werner Henze's Der junge Lord , Riccardo Zandonai's Giulietta e Romeo, and Emmanuel Chabrier's Gwendoline .
Additional notable performances and productions include the farewell performance of Beverly Sills opposite Joan Sutherland in Die Fledermaus ;the San Diego Opera-commissioned productions by Zandra Rhodes of The Magic Flute (2001) and The Pearl Fishers (2004); and the West Coast premieres of Giuseppe Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco and I Lombardi , and of Sergei Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges .
On March 19, 2014, the opera's board of directors voted to cease operations after its final performance on April 13, 2014, citing diminishing audiences and increasing costs.The announcement came as a shock to the public, because the company has no debt and had given no hint it was contemplating closure; director Campbell explained that the board decided to "wind down with dignity and grace" rather than become bankrupt. However, at a special board meeting on March 31, the board voted to delay the closure until April 29, to allow more time for major donors to come forward and to consider other options that could possibly save the 2015 season. Meanwhile, the labor union representing singers, chorus members and production personnel filed several complaints with the National Labor Relations Board about the decision to cease operation.
In a dramatic meeting on April 17, the opera's board of directors voted to extend the shutdown deadline at least until May 19. The chairman of the board and twelve other board members resigned. Board member Carol Lazier was chosen as acting president; she proposed that the opera reorganize rather than shut down. The national organization Opera America was reported to be working with board members to come up with a list of possible savings and reforms.
On April 25 it was announced that director Campbell and his ex-wife, who is also a high-ranking administrator with the opera, had both been placed on paid administrative leave, and that the opera board was launching a crowdsourcing campaign with a goal of raising $1 million to help underwrite a 2015 season.
On May 15 it was announced that Campbell and his former wife would be leaving the companyAfter a meeting of the board of directors on May 16, the board voted to rescind the decision to close.
In May 2014 the board announced plans for a 2015 season consisting of three operas, La boheme , Don Giovanni , and John Adams' Nixon in China , at the same time stating that its goal was to raise $6.5 million but that $4 million had already been raised (including $2.1 million from crowdfunding).
Edo de Waart is a Dutch conductor. He is music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, an Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Diego Luna Alexander is a Mexican actor, director, and producer. He has appeared in many films, including Y tu mamá también, Milk, Rudo y Cursi, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He is one of the founders and owners of Canana Films.
San Diego Comic-Con International is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, California, United States. The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International: San Diego; but it is commonly known simply as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or "SDCC".
State Route 52 (SR 52) is a state highway in San Diego County, California, that extends from La Jolla Parkway at Interstate 5 (I-5) in La Jolla, San Diego, to SR 67 in Santee. It is a freeway for its entire length and serves as a major east–west route through the northern part of the city of San Diego. The road connects the major north–south freeways of the county, including I-5, I-805, SR 163, I-15, SR 125, and SR 67. SR 52 passes north of the Rose Canyon Fault before traversing Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. East of Santo Road and west of SR 125, the highway goes through Mission Trails Regional Park, a large open preserve. SR 52 is also known as the Soledad Freeway and the San Clemente Canyon Freeway.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is an American metropolitan daily newspaper, published in San Diego, California.
The Los Angeles Opera is an American opera company in Los Angeles, California. It is the fourth-largest opera company in the United States. The company's home base is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, part of the Los Angeles Music Center.
The Mayor of the City of San Diego is the official head and chief executive officer of the U.S. city of San Diego, California. The mayor has the duty to enforce and execute the laws enacted by the San Diego City Council, the legislative branch. The mayor serves a four-year term and is limited to two successive terms.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in San Diego, California, US, is an art museum focused on the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art from 1950 to the present.
The San Diego Symphony is an American symphony orchestra, based in San Diego, California. The orchestra is resident at Copley Symphony Hall. The orchestra also serves as the orchestra for San Diego Opera.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) is the agency responsible for public transportation in North San Diego County, California, United States. NCTD provides 12 million passenger trips per year. NCTD's geographic area is approximately 1,020 square miles, with an approximate population of 842,000 people. NCTD is governed by a Board of Directors.
Opera America, officially OPERA America, is a service organization promoting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera in the US. Almost all professional opera companies and some semi-professional companies in the United States are members of the organization including such opera companies as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Dallas Opera. Opera America also includes international affiliated opera companies such as the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo. Opera America also hosts businesses, educational institutions, libraries, foundations, guilds, and opera artists such as singers and composers. It is also the home of New York Children's Opera Studio. The organization was founded in 1970 and has been led by President and CEO Marc A. Scorca since 1990.
Nathan Fletcher is an American politician and educator who served two terms in the California State Assembly. He serves as a professor of practice in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He is also Supervisor for the 4th District of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
Sherri Schuler Lightner is a San Diego, California politician and community activist. She was the councilmember for San Diego City Council District 1, elected to a four-year term in November 2008 and re-elected in November 2012. She is a Democrat, although council positions are officially nonpartisan per California state law. She and her husband live in La Jolla Shores.
Todd Rex Gloria is an American politician serving in the California State Assembly. A Democrat, he represents the 78th Assembly District, which encompasses much of San Diego and is the current Majority Whip.
Kevin Lee Faulconer is the 36th and current mayor of San Diego, California. He was elected in a special election in February 2014 after the resignation of Bob Filner and served the balance of his predecessor's term, through the end of 2016. He was sworn in as mayor on March 3, 2014. On June 7, 2016, he won election to a full term.
The Pacific Imperial Railroad is a company in possession of the SD&AE Desert Line right of way in Southern California, colloquially referred to as the Desert Line. The Desert Line starts at the border crossing at Division, near Campo at Milepost 59.94 in eastern San Diego County, California where it connects with the Baja California Railroad in Mexico, and stretches 70.1 miles through the Jacumba Mountains to El Centro, California, where it connects to Union Pacific Railroad at Milepost 129.61. The significance of the Desert Line is that it provides an alternative rail route to and from the east for servicing the distribution, transportation, and supply chain needs of the Cali-Baja region.
David Bennett is the general director of the San Diego Opera. Prior to that he was the executive director of Gotham Chamber Opera. He began his opera career as a singer, performing as a baritone for multiple companies.
The 2016 San Diego mayoral election was held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, to elect the Mayor for San Diego. Incumbent Kevin Faulconer ran for a second term as Mayor against former San Diego City Council member Ed Harris and former California State Assembly member Lori Saldaña.