New York City Opera on the brink of bankruptcy

Charlotte Smith30th Sep 2013

New York City Opera gave what may be the company’s final performance over the weekend, unless it is able to raise a last-minute sum of $7m in donations. The Opera’s board voted last week to begin dissolving the company if the necessary funds could not be raised by the end of September, and to suspend the 2013-14 schedule after performances of the first opera of the season – Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole, which ran from September 17 to 28.

The company is currently running a $1m online campaign through Kickstarter, but has thus far raised only approximately $300,000 with 17 hours to go. The campaign includes a testimonial from Plácido Domingo, who launched his career at NYC Opera:

‘My early performances with New York City Opera were what really kicked off my international career, and I look back on those days with enormous pride. The company has done incredible work for so many decades, and it has played an essential role in New York's cultural scene for millions of opera lovers. It would be an absolute tragedy for that legacy to come to an end.’

New York City Opera, which bills itself as ‘the people’s opera’ - an accessible and affordable alternative to New York’s Metropolitan Opera - was founded in 1943. In 2011, the company moved from its Lincoln Centre home due to financial difficulties and reduced its season to just four operas. The currently suspended 2013-14 season features productions of Johann Christian Bach’s Endimione, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

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