Unbeknownst to many Saddleback students, our school is home to one of the few Civic Light Opera programs in Southern California.
Every summer, the McKinney Theater is home to the Saddleback Civic Light Opera (SCLO), which puts on two professional productions, complete with pay for the actors. This past summer, SCLO celebrated its 30th anniversary with productions of “South Pacific” and “Barnum.”
In a surprise announcement, the program will be taking a break for upcoming renovations to the 405-seat theater.
“We are actually going on hiatus this summer due to a major construction project happening in the Fine Arts complex area,” said Nina Welch, Fine Arts Public Information Officer. “We’re getting a new restroom, concession facility and updates to the infrastructure to include plumbing, electrical, lighting and drainage.”
With the renown of the prestigious program, it seems only natural to have upgraded facilities.
The opening of Irvine Valley College’s Performing Arts Center puts them on the map for professional venues, rivaling that of the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, and the Bren Center in Irvine.
Saddleback and its CLO program will now have a comparable venue to these locations.
Rocky Cifone, Dean of Fine Arts, issued a public statement that “there will be some inconvenience to our students and patrons.” Cifone said that with upgraded facilities will come “a future of attending high quality fine arts programs as well as … numerous modern amenities.”
Patrons should not despair, however, as there will still be events occurring in the theater.
“Our summer program will be guest artists and an enhanced children’s program,” Welch said. “This will give us time to reflect on the future of SCLO and whether or not it would be a realistic time to change.”