Cher Public

Fine dell’opera

It’s official. “Gotham Chamber Opera is ceasing operations and will be closing. The Board of Directors of Gotham Chamber Opera voted today to shut down the organization,” reads a press release from the organization.  

“We regret to announce that Gotham Chamber Opera will cease operations,” said Beatrice Broadwater, president of the Board of Directors of Gotham Chamber Opera. “In early summer, the company’s new executive director, Edward Barnes, uncovered a significant deficit that was not previously disclosed to the board. We do not have, nor do we anticipate having, sufficient donations and pledges that would enable continued operations of the company.”

“I am proud to have founded Gotham Chamber Opera,” said artistic director Neal Goren. “The company’s fifteen year lifespan has been an extraordinary run, and we have been fortunate to be a part of New York City’s cultural landscape. We are grateful to all of our generous donors, collaborators and attendees, and thank them for their support.”

  • And…they are closing.

    • kennedet

      Very shocking to hear of this. I had the pleasure of meeting Neal Goren at last year’s Met National Council Auditions and found him very caring and sensitive. I wish him satisfaction in his next venture. This situation can be very stressful.

  • tancredipasero

    Hmm, something seems off in the NYT reporting of this. “Deficit not previously disclosed” means exactly what? Unauthorized borrowing? From? For? Or unpaid obligations -- to? for? Or monies disbursed without proper documentation -- to? for? Or unfunded commitments undertaken -- same questions.

    Sounds like someone got sufficiently angry about what had been going on for the board to decide on pulling the plug, rather than rolling up its sleeves to cover the shortfall. The amount of deficit described (“mid-six-figures”), in relation to an annual budget in the low seven figures, is definitely enough to be worrisome, but not enough to be beyond all possible remedy — unless some crucial person or persons were pissed off enough to say “I’m outta here.”

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      It does seem odd. Sounds like San Diego should be concerned about their recent hire.

      • CurlyOperaGal

        It’s possible that Bennett left because he and the board did not see eye to eye on how to deal with this deficit. His official statement, reported by Opera News, asserts that the board was in denial about just how perilous the company’s finances were. Sometimes when there is profound disagreement on how to plug a leak, the only thing left to do is jump ship and save yourself.

  • Bill

    They had some very imaginative productions -- Haydn
    operas and such. Opera performances at any level
    are expensive to put on and any company, without sufficient extraordinary donations and patron’s support is probably always fraught with the possibility of going under. If the management is not completely honest to the
    Board of Directors about costs and debts, naturally
    the entire operation can be a fiscal disaster. Yet it is such a great pity to see in our own New York City
    first the New York City Opera, once so vibrant in our
    operatic lives, hit a financial iceberg and sink to the depths and then a very imaginative smaller company also shut its doors. Eve Quelers’s group has struggled for years and is barely able to put on a performance or two and of course never had the cost of building sets or having ballet dancers etc. We do not know specifically how the Met is currently doing but with many empty seats
    glimpsed in the last couple of seasons, the Met is also
    struggling no doubt. But after seeing the very dreary and dull and unimaginative new production of Otello the other night, one can understand why opera patrons are not banging on the doors demanding tickets.

  • DerLeiermann

    That’s just… sad. Rip Gotham Chamber Opera