Sitting down with David Bennett, General Director of the San Diego Opera
"In early 2014, San Diego Opera surprised everyone with an announcement that the company was closing at the end of that season. In the past, the opera had featured stars like Joan Sutherland and Beverly Sills performing together in Die Fledermaus in 1980 and brought in young opera singers such as Renée Fleming and Plácido Domingo before they became world famous. A good opera plot always has twists and turns and the story of San Diego Opera has followed that arc. Within months, a group of board members voted to rescind the decision to close. Three years after the scare, I sat down to talk with David Bennett, the General Director of the San Diego Opera, hired in 2015 to lead the ‘saved’ opera in a new direction. David Bennett started his career as an opera singer, a baritone, added teaching, and then continued in arts administration. He came to the San Diego Opera from New York City, where he was the executive director of the Gotham Chamber Opera. He talked about his vision of how to keep attracting audiences and community to opera, about the 2017/2018 season, the first that will be comprised of his choices entirely, and even about his favorite operas and singers that he is excited about. "