Cher Public

It’s over

“New York City Opera, created 70 years ago as the ‘people’s opera,’ expects to file for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 2 and either liquidate in court or be sold to another institution, its lawyer said.” [Bloomberg]

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Steel wrote that it: “was a breeding ground for young talent…”
    sounds so dirty. Let’s hope they stick to their guns this time.

    And their lawyer writes: ““But right now we don’t have the $7 million that we need to go forward with the season”, which makes it sound so absurd that this is about producing an opera by JC Bach, Bluebeard’s castle and Figaro.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I did not know you can sell the words New York City and Opera.

  • Satisfied

    So St. Ann’s Warehouse is also out a production now.

    Anyone care to start a kick-starter to save Bluebeard’s Castle?

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      That ENO production is from 2009! It just makes things sound chic because of the way the MET has made ENO seem desirable to American Audiences in recent seasons.

      • Satisfied

        Oh, I know it’s an old production…it’s just an incredibly cool looking production of one of my favorite operas.

        I still get chills when I think of seeing it for the first time at the Royal (paired with Erwartung). Willy Decker’s production was (is?) haunting.

  • Well, this is sad, though not unexpected news. Now lets pause to remember what it once was:

    • la vociaccia

      That Rigoletto with Leech and Esham is a treasure

    • ducadiposa

      I’m sure many have memories but for me, at a distance in Toronto, I remember many of the television broadcasts by NYCO which introduced me to opera in late 1980s when I first started listening/attending. The one that is most lodged in memory is certainly the Rondine linked to above. I remember being absolutely overwhelmed by the big act II ensemble, and the fact that they encored it! The production may look dated now, but it was beautiful at the time, and the principal singers were so engaged. I saw that production when it was rented by the COC a little later. All very sad of course, but I’m hoping this will spur on the smaller companies in NYC. The MET and NYCO (in its prime) offer(ed) opera on a grand scale, but there is ample room for less elaborate productions in smaller venues. I think a lot of smaller companies will benefit from the public’s desire for opera on a smaller scale.

    • ducadiposa

      Also meant to say…these links also remind us that at one moment in time, opera was telecast “free” on television on a relatively regular basis. Sure the HD transmissions have their place, but it’s still not the same as the mass availability of just being able to turn on your tv set and see a live performance. Call me nostalgic, but it’s more than that. People now need to “pay” to see opera not just in the theatre, but on the screen as well. Part of the reason NYCO has died is that there weren’t enough (big time donor)types willing to “pay”. I *know* that’s not the whole story, but something to think about as we go forward with the future of opera production in the USA.

      • francophile
      • but it’s still not the same as the mass availability of just being able to turn on your tv set and see a live performance.

        I get what you are saying, but the fact is that Opera has not been broadcast life on TV for nearly 15 year now. As a matter of fact, the Met stopped broadcasting live quite so long time ago I can not even remember the last opera that was broadcast live from the Met.

        The last opera broadcast live from Lincoln Center were (if memory serves well) The Boheme with Villazon I linked. That was, what, 2000?

        Yes, I get the nostalgia, but the fact is that Opera is still available free on TV, thanks to the Summer festival the Met creates when they broadcast the season’s HD on TV. There is plenty on YouTube, so we can talk about Opera on demand and in many cases, these are events from either a long time ago (Like the Tosca, Lucia and Manon Lescaut from Hamilton Opera that are posted in YT) or more recent events of European telecasts not made available here in the USA.

        Honestly, I think we opera fans have a bonanza in our hands because collectors are willing to put so much stuff on YT, plus the summer Opera festival on TV and if you need live opera, you can always turn to IU bloomington. It is my understanding they webcast their productions live.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Good work Lindoro. Thanks for these links.

      • redbear

        The new site, which I have spoken about before, has all the operas available on the internet and it is an astonishing amount. Munich just announced their streaming schedule, by the way. You never have to leave your screen!

  • Camille

    Sad sad sad sad sad
    Bad bad bad bad bad
    Mad mad mad mad mad

    La commedia è finita!!!

    If someone, in 2003, had walked up to me and told me the New York City Opera would become defunct in ten years time, first, I would have laughed and then I would have edged away from them so as not to catch rabies.

    A murder most foul and a black day for the arts in the United States.

  • operacat

    Don’t forget the following either:

  • operaassport

    I can’t mourn something that has been dead as long as City Opera has. It’s just that they’re finally interring the body.

    • cosmodimontevergine

      I would call Operassport’s dismissal schadenfreude except that it is neither funny nor true. In the past couple of years I enjoyed Powder her Face, A Quiet Place, La Perichole and Anna Nicole -to name the ones that first come to mind. It will be a cold day in hell before New York gets staged productions of this kind of repertory. I feel only sadness about the demise of City Opera.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        Pish-Tush! They were all produced by pick-ups -- nothing to do with the real City Opera and Operassport is quite correct.

        • cosmodimontevergine

          Only Anna Nicole was a “pick-up” -what other NY company will do that.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            Thank heavens none of them!

            • 98rsd

              Did you actually see it, or do you just “know” (through your superior powers) that it was not worth doing? How is that different from the right wingers who condemn books they haven’t read?

      • operaassport

        The fact that they still occasionally produced something worth seeing doesn’t negate the fact that, as a company, they’ve been dead for quite some time.

        • No Expert

          Actually I think that would negate the alleged fact that it has been dead for quite some time. Doomed for quite some time, maybe.

      • Belfagor

        The trouble is in a couple of weeks at the MET you can see ‘The Nose’ Britten’s ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ and Muhly’s ‘Two Boys’ all in the same week…..hardly standard rep. —- whatever function NYCO did have in spicing the palette of NY opera-goers in the past has been usurped…..Othello’s occupation gone.

  • One more:

    and just in case, because it is unlisted so far:

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      and this

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • skoc211

  • LittleMasterMiles
    • armerjacquino

      They haven’t even done that properly. There’s the new copy on top saying ‘sorry, we didn’t make funding’ but they’ve left the old copy- ‘IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!’ underneath.

      I don’t know enough about NYCO to speculate on why they’ve gone the way they have, but that kickstarter was a mess from the start.

      • 98rsd

        Now you’re criticizing them for not redoing the website as they clear out their desks? Really?

        Too bad sniping isn’t an actual skill, or Parterre posters would really be in demand.

        • armerjacquino

          They did redo it. That’s the whole point: they redid it wrong. I’m not ‘sniping’ at anyone or anybody, just saying that the way that particular fundraising campaign was managed didn’t fill me with a whole lot of confidence in the institution.

          Once again, I’m not talking about NYCO as a whole because I don’t know enough about the company. I’m just talking about the kickstarter, which was a mess. I don’t know how much clearer I can make it.

          • 98rsd

            They didn’t redo the website, they added something to an existing site, and that’s what you criticized.

            • armerjacquino

              I know what happened. ‘redo the website’ was your shorthand, not mine.

              I have no argument with you or NYCO. I just observed that the kickstarter was badly handled. This conversation has way outlasted my interest.

  • Over at Superconductor, we put up an obituary for City Opera.

  • whatever

    ” … or be sold to another institution.”

    my spidey-sense is tingling; I bet there’s an end-game already mapped out here.

    Of course, I have no idea what it is, but who says a conspiracy theory has to be fully-formed?!?

    • blansac

      Yes, a newly formed institution (headed by Susan Baker) buys NYCO, just keeps the name, and the new outfit (to be known as “New York City Opera”) appoints George Steel as GM.

      Parterre implodes.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        I guess Steel could buy it for a dollar and continue this massacre.

        • great. Now NYCO is a HUD house.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    That “people’s opera” moniker sounds so much like a communist operetta company from the 1960’s! And the mass email this morning states:

    “It is with much regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2013-2014 Season. New York City Opera did not achieve the goal of its emergency appeal, and the board and management will begin the necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the Company, including initiating the Chapter 11 process.

    For seventy years, since Mayor Fiorello La Guardia established it as “The People’s Opera,” New York City Opera has introduced generation after generation of young singers who are stars in the making, brought the public exciting new works and compelling, fresh interpretations of classics, acted as a champion for American composers and performers, and ensured that every New Yorker can experience the live art of opera.

    We thank you for your continued support over the years and for making New York City Opera truly “The People’s Opera.”

    For questions regarding your subscription, please call 212.870.5600.

    For questions regarding contributions, please call 212.870.5626

    For questions about the City Opera Thrift Shop, please call 212.684.5344.

    For any other questions, please call 212.870.5620.”

  • Belfagor

    And now Scottish Opera’s new music director Emmanuel Joael-Hornak, has resigned after 58 days in the job -- that company is a stunted shadow of what it once was -- and the Minnesota orchestra’s MD, Osmo Vanska has resigned, after a year of lock outs and failed union negotiations -- truly malign stars in the heavens today -- these things happen in threes.

    • Camille

      Yes, I was just gnashing my teeth and groaning about the Minnesota affaire and Osmo Vanska’s resignation as there was to have been a series of Sibelius symphony concerts at Carnegie Hall which I was greatly looking forward to! A damn shame.

    • Regina delle fate

      Let’s hope Belfagor. The opening of the ENO season looks a bit worrying box-office-wise. Discounts for both Calixto’s Fidelio and Chris Alden’s Fledermouse.

      • Belfagor

        I also heard that the ROH Elektra -- which has been really well received -- is discounted and not full. Oy!

        • manou

          I am just about to go to the ROH Elektra -- becomingly dressed in black.

          • Camille

            Heavens! Don’t forget “Das Beil”!!!!!!!!!!!

            • manou

              I was really thinking “O’Neill”.

          • Belfagor

            but with an accent of red, surely…….

            • MontyNostry

              That production has a surfeit of red -- mainly sprayed all over the poor Fuenfte Magd.

            • manou

              Mourning……oh, forget it.

        • MontyNostry

          £25 for a Stalls seat tonight with a Facebook/Twitter discount.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    We have no goverment! We have no City Opera. We have much, but so much has vanished.

    This kid has been watching Joyce

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • zinka

    So SAD! Here is a partial list of some of the names of artists who appeared at City Opera. Just thinking of the demise of this company is truly horrendous:

    Lawrence Winters
    Chester Ludgin
    Dominic Cossa
    Richard Fredricks
    Mark Delavan
    Moichele Molese
    Harry Theyard
    Ebrico di Giuseppe
    Placido Domingo
    Jose Carreras
    Jerry Lo Monaco
    Frances Bible
    Susan Marsee
    Olivia Stapp
    Gloria Lane
    Bevertly Wolff
    Marisa Galvany
    Beverly Sills
    Patricia Brooks
    Norman Treigle
    Irene Jorden
    Giuseppe Gismondo
    Gianna Rolandi,
    Ruth Welting
    Johanna Meier
    David Poleri
    Elizabeth Carron
    Athena Lampropolous
    Maureen Forrester
    Rolando Villazon
    Daniel Mobbs
    Camilla Williams
    Adele Addison
    Richard Leech
    Regina Resnik
    Dorothy Kirsten
    Diana Soviero
    Pablo Elvira
    Jerry Hadley
    Henry Price
    Sam Ramey

    Need I say more????There are plenty of others, but this tells you what a sad story this is.

  • Jamie01