LA County Supervisors arrange a bond offering to support the LA Opera

Mercer 1963

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Atmosphere at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion after a performance by the Los Angeles Opera.

The Los Angeles County Supervisors have responded to a plea for help from one of the LA County Music Center’s resident institutions.

Like a well-bred and resourceful romantic heroine, the LA Opera faced a delicate situation.

It maintained appearances as it reduced its administrative and operating costs. It obtained $30 million in donor pledges to cover its debts. But that money will show up over three years, not soon enough for the institution to satisfy its creditors.

The opera company’s letter of credit was to expire next Tuesday. The LA County Supervisors swept onstage just in time to stave off a tragic ending – at least for opera fans. The board approved a $14 million private bond offering to support the opera.

The collateral? A lease of the LA Opera’s home, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The opera’s chief operating officer assured the supervisors that the nonprofit will pay off the loan.

County officials said the opera made its unusual request only after months of behind-the-scenes discussions about the best way to keep the curtain up and the stage lights on.

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