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“ZERO dollars!”

“City Opera Management has passed on an offer from the unions representing its musicians and singers that could have saved the company some much-needed cash. The proposal would have required members of the New York City opera to perform for free in the 2011-2012 season.” [NY1]

9 comments

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    It’s really odd that American’s leading opera company participates in so many co-productions with the ENO (in some ways London’s “second” opera company for the people -- in that everything is sung in English there), but New York’s former second company can’t even get it up to make something out of shinola.

  • tancredipasero says:

    The “perform for free” thing was perhaps not the most attractive p.r. move the unions could have made, in my opinion. It sounds almost groveling, yet leaves management free to point out (correctly) that it is in effect just an offer to accept a pay cut, decked out in a dramatic headline.

    Hard to see a good outcome in any scenario here, though. The unions can’t wring blood from a stone, and the NYCO is stone-dead. Steele has shown himself a fool -- he tried to create an opera company for people who don’t like opera, and it hasn’t succeeded, and there’s no reason why it should.

    All the reporters who have taken at face value the notion that the NYCO’s “original mission” was to do innovative productions and new operas should go review the history of its founding -- the original mission was to give performances of popular operas at affordable prices for middle-class audiences. Along with that -- supported by that, based on that -- there was ALSO an admirable record of experiment and innovation. But Steele and his enablers wanted to put the cart in front of the horse. The basis of a healthy opera company has to be provision of “basic” opera, and success at that level can then provide a launching pad (and checkbook) for all sorts of good things.

    • bobsnsane says:

      “The unions can’t wring blood from a stone…”

      Bingo!

      Thank you Tancredi.
      Nobody has enough money…
      for the luxury of another opera company in NYC;
      and nobody ever will given
      an economy like this
      and the fear it’s created with money.

      And thank you again Tancredi,
      for citing the ‘original’ mission statement…
      MET titles and Hd performances
      have proselytized for this great art form
      like nobody ever dreamed of -
      even 20 years ago.

      You add the fact that “there was ALSO
      an admirable record of experiment and innovation…”
      Myself –
      I would call it much more than ‘admirable’
      and add that I saw some pretty amazing performances with that company…

      Yet – currently – given the financial challenges,
      I must come to a different conclusion
      than you Tancredi.

      What’s Tupac spelled backwards?
      It’s caput.

      I think the entire idea
      is barely on life-support and
      all the money’s on Peter Gelb ($183 million).
      Just my thoughts.

  • iltenoredigrazia says:

    “…and success at that level can then provide a launching pad (and checkbook) for all sorts of good things.”

    You mean “..all OTHER sorts of good things.” As in additional good things. Right? :)

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Kentucky Opera, placed on unfair list by union will perform their sold out performances of The Marriage of Figaro this weekend with two pianos and harpsichord. It’s grreat that they will do this and I bet the performances will be very satisfactory. Hopefully their pianists will make a skillful arrangement of the score for four hands.
    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20111117/NEWS/311170035/Kentucky-Opera-perform-without-an-orchestra