Just days before the San Diego Opera Association meets to discuss its options for keeping afloat, company officials announced Friday more personnel changes had been made and a fundraising effort was underway.
Ian Campbell, the general and artistic director and also CEO, and Deputy General Director Ann Spira Campbell had been placed on leave, San Diego Opera Board Acting President Carol Lazier said.
Keith Fisher, the opera’s executive director the past 12 years, was named chief operating officer and will be tasked with managing the troubled company’s staff and resources.
“I have known Keith for a number of years,” Lazier said. “I have the utmost faith in his ability to handle the current needs of the company with urgency, clarity and discretion. He leads an incredible staff facing its greatest challenge in the opera’s 49 year history.”
The changes follow former board President Karen Cohn’s resignation during a contentious meeting last week.
The opera association is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss its options to preserve the company and its assets, and alternatives to closure and liquidation.
A special meeting of the Board of Directors will follow, in which plans for the opera’s future will further be discussed.
Opera officials announced last month the company was to close and sell off its assets. The initial closing date was to be April 14, but it was pushed back to May 19.
The board will be required to vote on whether to produce a 2015 season pending the outcome of fundraising efforts.
“We are now very focused on reshaping the San Diego Opera and following a fiscally responsible path,” Lazier said.
The San Diego Opera has also launched a $1 million fundraising campaign for what would become its 50th season. If the opera ends up closing or the $1 million goal is not met by the proposed closing date, donations will be returned, opera officials said.
As of late Friday evening, more than $25,000 had been raised, according to the opera’s website. Tax deductible donations can be made online at sdopera.com/moveforward or from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays by calling (619) 533-7000.
— City News Service
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