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Avid scoopster Dan Wakin just couldn’t wait until next Tuesday like the rest of us, and so he’s spilled enough details about NYCO’s “next” season to make it bleeding obvious 2011-12 will also be the last. A “new” “production” of La traviata by the undead Dr. Jonathan Miller and the U.S. premiere of the dreck Prima Donna get the nice venue (BAM); for the Telemann opera, be prepared to trek to El Museo del Barrio.  

53 comments

  • willym says:

    Okay as I understand it we are all here because we love opera and yet there seems to be almost an air of ‘dancing on the grave’ attitude about the possible demise of an opera company both in the tone of the posting and some of the comments. Perhaps being outside the New York scene I’m missing something or reading things wrong but it would seem to me the loss of an opera company -- particularly one with such a history -- is not something to crow about.

    • Seems to be Schadenfreude, perhaps along the lines of “I don’t like the music that George Steel was trying to with City Opera and now that it is not working for lots of reasons only one of which is too much Morton Feldman you can see that I’m right. More Meyerbeer!”

    • Octavius says:

      When Hitler was destroying Europe, Charlie Chaplin made a cinematic spoof of him called “The Great Dictator”. Humor, specifically satire, is a form of safety valve for sheer rage and despair.

      Steel and the Board are so outlandishly incompetent that only someone with a heart of stone could keep from laughing at the their antics (to paraphrase Oscar Wilde) and be assured that some of those doing the loudest ‘laughing’ just lost their jobs at NYCO -- it is less painful than crying.

      As for those who are using the destruction of City Opera as an opportunity for union-trashing, their table is waiting for them at the Republican convention, right next to David Koch and Gov. Scott Walker.

    • M.A.Peel says:

      The graphic design campaign with the large black, empty, obliterating dot as the signature element seems positively Freudian now.

  • Porpora says:

    While I cannot speak for others, I can only say that the demise of NYCO is a tragedy that touches many people, both in and out of the company. There is no ‘dancing on the grave’ within the rank and file- that is to be sure. They were playing in protest out on the plaza only last week.

    A previous poster, in writing about the ‘corporatizing’ of the arts hit on a matter that deserves more discussion.

    In City Opera, we have a situation where the chairman is a gentlemen who made his millions working for Altria. And what did Altria do? Make Philip Morris look good. And what does Philip Morris do? Make a product that shortens your life and kills you. Last I heard, they were still in that business.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see that one kind of subterfuge begets another. And Mr. Hall’s insistence on a balanced budget (opera has always been expensive) is code for breaking the unions. Of course, this is being tried all across America in one form of another. This happens to be a perfect match with Mr. Steel’s programming which doesn’t sell. Mean and lean as has often been said in the corporate world. Well…mean it is, especially for those who have devoted their life to the company. They are not being treated as migrant workers.

  • scantrell says:

    George Steel’s NYC fans got all in a huff when I wrote a “good riddance” piece when he left the Dallas Opera after only four months. How could a “mere” Dallas critic attack this genius? Well, what do you think now?