Opera Pacific closes down, likely for good
Orange County's only major opera company is a victim of the
By TIMOTHY MANGAN
The Orange County Register
Three days after its final performance of Rossini's "The
Barber of Seville," Santa Ana-based Opera Pacific, the
county's only major opera company, announced Tuesday that
it will cancel the remainder of its 2008-2009 season and
will likely close down operations for good.
The economic downturn is to blame, according to Robert C.
Jones, president and CEO of the company. "All I can say is
that at this moment there are no plans for next season,"
Jones said, shortly before leaving the office on his last
day on the job.
Jones said that the company has laid off all except a
skeletal staff, which will handle necessary communications.
Opera Pacific still has a board of directors, but artistic
director and conductor John DeMain has been laid off along
Opera Pacific was to present the West Coast premiere of
Ricky Ian Gordon's "The Grapes of Wrath" in January, and
Richard Strauss' "Salome," with Orange County native Deborah
Voigt in the title role, in March. The company presented
22 seasons of opera at the Orange County Performing Arts
In addition, Opera Pacific has put its Santa Ana headquarters,
a large warehouse structure, up for sale. The building,
almost 20,000 square feet of office, rehearsal, shop and
storage space, was up for sale in an attempt to generate
cash flow for the company. But the building hasn't sold
yet. The sale would likely cover the company's remaining
debts, and then some, Jones said. ...
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