After almost 50 years of bringing beautiful, glass-shatteringly high notes to the stage, the San Diego Opera shocked the local arts and culture community by announcing it’ll pull the curtain for the final time at the end of the 2014 season.

The opera’s artistic director Ian D. Campbell lamented to VOSD’s Scott Lewis that dwindling attendance and revenue losses as the main reasons for shutting down.

“I do have a concern that we’re losing many supporters as they age and if you look at the programs of the opera, symphony, (La Jolla) Playhouse, Old Globe, many of the same names are listed,” Campbell said. “This should be a wake-up call.”

The news came as a surprise to many and has been covered widely by local and national media outlets. It’s kind of a big deal, guys.

In a press release sent out March 19, Campbell said the board of directors chose to shut down “with dignity and grace, making every effort to fulfill our financial obligations,” rather than face bankruptcy.

Mission Edge CFO David Fuhriman had some words to share on the opera’s demise in an op-ed, pulling from his experience working with nonprofits to shed some light on what the institution might be dealing with.

It’s a tough decision that many arts institutions have had to make. Still, local culture vultures have rallied to try to save the San Diego Opera. A Facebook page already launched, linking to an impassioned online petition for the board of directors to give the opera another chance. More than 4,000 people have liked the page, and the petition has upwards of 5,500 signatures.

We’ll have to wait and see if the sudden cries for an encore produce a few more operatic years for San Diego. If not, pour one out.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Changes at the Art Show, COM22 and More Visual Arts News

• The Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show has changed owners, and organizer Ann Berchtold tells CityBeat she’s excited about the shift.

• CityBeat’s Kinsee Morlan will be keeping an eye on COM22, a new mixed-use development in Logan Heights that will make many public art projects home. Read her first look into the project.

• The Reader looks at the screen-printing work of Mexican-American artist Arturo Vazquez, who lives and works in Tijuana, and how it sheds light on Tijuana culture.

• Artist Matthew Bradley gets specific. Site-specific, to be specific. And CityBeat has a great profile.

Experimental Guitars, Jazz and More Music and Performance Notes

• The Experimental Guitar Show shreds once again this Saturday. If you’re in the market for a new face, make sure you go because the one you currently have will be so melted you’d think someone opened Pandora’s box in that joint.

• Face-melting riffage isn’t your thing? Try some jazz instead. Here’s the Reader’s round-up of all the places to make like Duke Silver and get all up in it this week.

• Throwback maven Normandie Wilson begins a Saturday night residency at the Caliph in Hillcrest.

• A dance-theater piece inspired by the life and sexy times of composer Claude Debussy? Holy crap! That’s going to get awkwardly steamy in your pants.

• Get caught in Art of Elan’s Crossfire this Thursday at The Glashaus.

Minds Recap, Apologies and More Culture News

• If you missed last week’s Meeting of the Minds, our series inviting great folks responsible for making San Diego a happening place to be, don’t fret. Kelly Bennett has a recap of the event that includes video of each speaker. You’re welcome.

• The Balboa Park Centennial Committee is sorry about completely blowing it with the planning of the anniversary celebration. Admitting the problem is the first step, guys. We appreciate it. (KPBS)

• Speaking of the centennial, CityBeat breaks down “what could have been, what could be and what’s actually happening” with the monumental event in great detail.

• Tijuana’s cultural revival has been documented in a new book. I can’t wait to put said book on my coffee table. (KPBS)

• Activist, professor and writer Jill Holslin shares a poignant story of a deported migrant in her blog At the Edges. I love me some Jill Holslin, and so should you.

CicloSDias comes to Pacific Beach, to which its residents emphatically reply, “Come at me, bro!”

The Spring Busker Festival returns to Seaport Village this weekend.

Time may have forgotten typewriter repairman Mitchell Vassiliou, but cuteness hasn’t. “This is typewriter heaven,” Vassiliou tells CityBeat. So cute, right?

Alex Zaragoza

Alex Zaragoza is a freelance writer covering arts and culture in San Diego and Tijuana. She also writes the column "There...

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