SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s music to their ears. The Sacramento Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra will play on.

They were on the brink of collapse until someone stepped in with a big gift just in time. The donor’s identity has been a secret, until now.

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The stage was set for a tragic ending.

“Theatrics in the bank account we don’t want. Theatrics on the stage we want…we were cutting it very tight,” said Sacramento Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra CEO Rob Tannenbaum.

Tannenbaum was planning on asking the city for a subsidy.

“And my CFO comes into the room and she looked a bit dumbfounded,” said Tannenbaum.

A gift of a half-million dollars came in the mail.

“There was a moment of what, what, until she put the checks on the table. And there was $250,000 for the opera and $250,000 for the philharmonic,” said Tannenbaum.

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The two checks came from the family behind Raley’s supermarket, headquartered in West Sacramento. Of course the surprise left Tannenbaum singing their high praises.

He immediate responded to the Joyce and Jim Teel Family Foundation.

“I called Joyce to thank her for this gift and it’s in memory of her mother, E. Claire Raley,” said Tannenbaum.

Tannenbaum says changes are needed to keep arts alive in Sacramento.

“Talking about how can we change the organization so that it has the power to move and talk to people from 2014 and beyond,” said.

This half-million-dollar surprise has the CEO singing a whole new song.

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