Shoppers and downtown workers on their lunch break Thursday (Jan. 29) were startled to hear strains of “Bess, you is my woman now” from Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” floating across the wide plaza in front of San Diego Civic Theatre . . .

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San Diego Opera’s vibrant ensemble production of “La bohème” Saturday (Jan. 24) at Civic Theatre not only opened the 2015 season, but marked the company’s rebirth after a near-death experience last spring . . .

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The last time San Diegans encountered baritone Morgan Smith, he was riveting their attention in the role of Starbuck in San Diego Opera’s production of Jake Heggie’s “Moby-Dick,” one of the few contemporary operas that have found favor with opera’s notoriously conservative audience. Back in town for the first opera of San Diego’s 2015 season, Smith shares his insights and inspirations . . .

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Although that storied operatic cliché of the sobbing final aria before the heroine’s sad demise was scripted by the San Diego Opera Board of Directors on March 19 when it voted to shutter the company, Board President Carol Lazier was not singing a farewell aria in her press conference Monday (May 19) in the plaza in front of Civic Theatre where she jubilantly announced the reversal of the Board’s March decision to terminate the company and the raising of $2,116,376 of new money to support the 2015 season . . .

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