Since its inception in 1965, San Diego Opera has been an invaluable cultural resource to our community. Today, San Diego Opera strives to deliver exceptional and inclusive performances to diverse audiences through the transformative power of the human voice. At the core of SDO’s vision is a deep commitment to promote diversity on stage and in its repertoire while maintaining a commitment to world-class and emerging talent. The annual gala fundraiser, Opera Ball for All, helps support a wide range of community partnerships that helps ensure that the expressive power of the human voice is not silenced. Every Voice Tells a Story and support of SDO brings to life these stories and the voices of our community.


This year, the Opera Ball is titled When in Rome in a nod to the work of beloved composer Giacomo Puccini that will be featured on the mainstage in 2023. The formal, black-tie dinner and dance will honor exemplary community leaders Peggy and Peter Preuss and will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

Peggy and Peter Preuss have a long history of supporting the San Diego community with a special emphasis on K-12 education. They are the co-founders of The Preuss Foundation, a private foundation specializing in support of medical research and fostering communication among scientists. Among his many accomplishments, Peter is the former president and founder of Integrated Software Systems Corporation, a leading supplier of computer graphics software, and is a Regent Emeritus of the University of California having served on its board for over 15 years. Peggy, a former teacher, has long been a champion of education. She has served on various educational and artistic boards including the Board of The Preuss School at UCSD. Peggy has served on the Board of San Diego Opera and she and Peter have been long time supporters of San Diego Opera’s programming as well as the extensive education efforts in Title 1 Schools. It is a great privilege for San Diego Opera to spotlight the tremendous commitment and impact that Peggy and Peter Preuss have had on our community and to highlight our shared vision for the importance of arts and education in our community and to preserve it for future audiences.

Building on the success of the Opera’s community-centric programming that accompanied the widely acclaimed world-premiere of El último sueño de Friday y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego) this fall, gala co-chairs Veronica and Miguel Leff and Diana and Eliezer Lombrozo invite opera devotees, friends of SDO, and anyone who wants to be transported to a beautiful evening inspired by la dolce vita to join the party. Opera Unites Us and the Opera Ball for All, When in Rome, is the perfect place for our community to unite in support of future exceptional performances, ongoing meaningful community collaborations, as well as award-winning education programs like Words and Music and Student Night at the Opera.

Mother and daughter duo Diana Lombrozo and Veronica Leff (along with their spouses) are honored to bring their years of community volunteering, their commitment to social action, and love of special events to help create a festive, elegant, and inviting fundraiser in support of San Diego Opera’s many important programs. Their shared love of opera and the performing arts is at the heart of this undertaking, and they are excited to make this special evening a memorable one. Since graduating with a master’s degree in arts management, Veronica, and her husband Miguel Leff, Esq. (along with their three daughters Suzy, Eliana and Ariela) have been committed patrons and audience members of the performing arts in town. Veronica joined the SDO Board of Directors in 2016 and has focused much of her development efforts on creating unique special events to raise friends and funds for the Opera like the recent Intimate Portrait featuring the history, music and culture of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s beloved Mexico. “I have long been inspired by my mother’s decades-long commitment and volunteer work in the San Diego community,” Veronica shared with GB Magazine. Diana Lombrozo and her husband Eliezer are passionate about music and have been loyal subscribers of the Opera since the 1980s when they first made La Jolla their home. Highlights from her years of volunteering include The Bishop’s School 90th Anniversary Celebration, the “Celebrities Cook for the Cancer Center” gala (that led to what is now the Moores Cancer Center at UCSD) and chairing the Platinum Tour of The Secret Garden Tour of the La Jolla Historical Society. Diana was a member of The La Jolla Guild of San Diego Opera and co-chaired its Mardi Gras Gala. Diana and Eliezer have been loyal supporters of SDO’s fundraising efforts, most recently opening their home to host, as well as co-sponsor, special events like Noche Española. Veronica and Diana concur, “We invite you to join us in helping to secure the future of San Diego Opera for our community and to honor Peggy and Peter Preuss and applaud their years of commitment to our community. They are an inspirational couple and an example to follow.” San Diego Opera is looking forward to welcoming you to a fabulous evening … When in Rome!

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