Tara Colburn, born Tarasenka Pankiv in Zagreb, Croatia, grew up surrounded by music and the arts.

She studied piano with her concert pianist mother and her grandfather was director of the Zagreb Conservatory. A lifelong supporter of the arts, Ms. Colburn served as an active board member of LA Opera since the company’s founding year in 1986. She was one of the company’s most dedicated supporters for nearly two decades before her death in 2003. She established the Tarasenka Pankiv Fund through a bequest (a directive in her will) that continues to support LA Opera productions, including the upcoming presentation of Tosca.

While she was alive, Ms. Colburn underwrote early productions of The Barber of Seville and Madame Butterfly. In addition to supporting Tosca, the Fund has underwritten recent productions of Dido and AeneasBluebeard’s Castle and Norma. For several years, Ms. Colburn underwrote the company’s supertitles to enhance the opera experience for everyone in the audience. (In 2010, the Dunard Fund USA established a perpetual fund for LA Opera’s supertitles in Ms. Colburn’s honor.) Her generosity extended beyond the LA Opera and deep into the world of classical music.

Ms. Colburn’s dedication to the arts and to the community inspired her to establish the Tarasenka Pankiv Fund. She wanted to continue to bring world-class opera to future generations of Angelenos and the Fund will continue to benefit LA Opera in perpetuity through the income it generates.

Of her generous support, Ms. Colburn once said, “I will be proud to have played a small part in a very important cultural contribution to the life of our community.” In fact, she played a starring role in the company’s history.

Supporting LA Opera through a planned gift allows you to make a long-lasting impact on LA Opera’s ability to present world-class opera for generations to come.

A tax-deductible planned gift can be made by cash or with property, such as appreciated securities or real estate, through your will or living trust.  Planned gifts may also be made by naming LA Opera as the beneficiary of a bank account, securities account, insurance policy or retirement plan, such as an IRA account.  Some gifts may also provide you with lifetime income.


To learn more about making a planned gift, contact our Director of Planned Giving at 213.972.3141 or legacy@laopera.org.