October 25, 2014;San Diego Union-Tribune

Divisions and dysfunction on the board, failures of communication, and lack of attention to audience, endowment, and community are just some of the components that reportedly brought to ground (but not for long) the highflying San Diego opera.

The San Diego Union-Tribune publishes an annual study that looks at the financial reports of 12 top arts and cultural organizations in its region. This year, most of the institutions appeared stable, with the standout exception of the San Diego Opera, whose board of directors, in a move that came to a surprise to many, voted to close the organization earlier in the year.

The San Diego Opera was the third-largest arts institution in San Diego. Negative cash flow had become an annual issue, but confoundingly, a look at the numbers below suggests there was some running room left to reorganize:

 

2012

2013

Change

Paid attendance

35,430

34,673

-2%

Subscribers

2,988

2,925

-2%