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Opera season saved by donors

File photo.

The Sacramento Opera exceeded its funding goal of collecting $122,000 in individual donations by Thursday night, and the upcoming season is no longer in jeopardy.

“It’s a go,” said Rod Gideons, General Director for the opera company. “We did just over $135,000, so we were really, really pleased.”

Approximately $39,000 in additional donations is needed to see the season out, but Gideons said he is confident that will be raised, and the company has the course of the season – which stretches into 2012 – to raise those funds.

“Most likely, when we send out our subscription renewal forms, that’s when we’ll get that,” he said, adding that those forms will likely go out at the end of the month.

Donors were very supportive, he said.

“The common theme that’s come across is, ‘We’ve got to have our opera company,’ so it’s very rewarding to see this kind of support,” he said.

The opera season will include “Opera at the Cathedral” on Oct. 6, a double-bill feature in late November with the opera and Sacramento Philharmonic and “Rigoletto” by Guiseppe Verdi next February.

The arts are suffering in the recession, and Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director and CEO Marc Feldman told The Sacramento Press earlier this week that arts organizations are the first ones to feel economic downturns and the last to recover from them.

Gideons said he is very thankful for the support of the donors.

“I want to say thanks to the people who believe this is important,” he said Friday. “We are really, really grateful from the bottom of our hearts.”

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.

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