“Only two weeks after severing ties with former director Ian Campbell and reversing its March vote to his plan and shut down the company, the board of the San Diego Opera has picked a new leader,” writes James Chute in Friday’s (5/30) San Diego Union Tribune. “William Mason, the highly respected former general director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, is the opera’s new artistic adviser. Mason … will play a key role in immediately stabilizing the company, helping it produce a 50th anniversary season next year, planning future seasons and further developing the opera’s organizational structure and long-term strategy. Mason, 72, is expected to remain in the role until the opera can find a permanent general director, a process expected to take at least six months and possibly more…. ‘I’ve never liked the word “outreach,” but really, that’s what opera has to do,’ Mason said…. ‘In a strange way, I think this whole situation may turn out to be the best thing that’s happened for the company…. It’s been traumatic, but it has forced the company, the board and the staff, even the community, to recognize how important opera is to the community, and vice versa, and to really start afresh.’ ”

Posted June 2, 2014