The resident conductor of the San Diego Opera has announced that she’ll retire following next month’s production of Puccini’s “La bohème.”
Karen Keltner will step down after 35 years with the opera company, holding the title of music administrator for most of her time in San Diego. She said her first production in San Diego starred Joan Sutherland and Beverly Sills.
According to the opera, she has conducted more than 150 performances over 40 different productions and has served as guest conductor for operas in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.
“Little did I know when I moved to San Diego in 1980 that San Diego Opera would become my beloved home company and afford me the opportunity to make San Diego my home for these 35 years,” Keltner said. “I am so proud of all of us and our generous public who refused to let San Diego Opera die.”
The San Diego Opera announced plans to shut down earlier this year because of financial problems, but an influx of donations and new leadership saved the group from folding. “La bohème,” which opens Jan. 24 at the San Diego Civic Theatre, will mark the beginning of the organization’s 50th anniversary season.
Keltner said she planned to spend time with family and explore more guest conducting opportunities.
The opera did not announce plans for replacing her.
— City News Service
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