The San Diego Opera, as it continues to attempt a revival, announced Friday that former Lyric Opera of Chicago director William Mason has been hired as an artistic adviser.
The San Diego Opera, which announced plans to cease operations earlier this year, reversed course recently and is set to stage a 2015 season, though layoffs will take place so the company can survive.
The opera company cut ties with then-CEO Ian Campbell and several board members following the near-financial collapse.
Mason (see him talk about his role in Chicago and his thoughts on the financial position of arts organizations in the video above) held several positions with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and was director for 14 years until he retired in 2011. Earlier in his career, he worked in San Francisco and helped stage three shows in San Diego.
“Bill Mason’s reputation in the world of opera is second to none,” said Carol Lazier, president of the San Diego Opera Board of Directors. “His knowledge of opera production and staging, his skills as an administrator, and his deep love of the art form assures that the artistic quality San Diego Opera is known for will continue unabated.”
Mason said he was aware of the San Diego Opera’s “difficult and traumatic few months,” and was flattered to be asked to join the company during “a challenging and transitional period.”
The opera’s 50th anniversary season is set to open with “La boheme” on Jan. 24.
– City News Service
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