When George Steel predicted that the New York City Opera’s budget for 2011-12 would be “significantly smaller” than the $22 million alloted for 2010-11, he wasn’t kidding. The gulp-inducing details follow the jump.  

According to a source near the company, current plans are to slash the budget by half, spending only about $11 million on the season, of which approximately $1.5 million (it is hoped) will be covered by ticket sales. The remaining $10 million or so of costs are to be made up through “unearned income,” including donations to the company.

The season, so far as La Cieca can deduce, will begin the second week of January with Rufus Wainwright‘s Prima Donna, followed by a new Cosi fan tutte directed by Christopher Alden and a revival of Handel’s Orlando in the 2005 Chas Rader-Shieber production. Of the two promised smaller-scaled works, one will likely be a contemporary chamber opera. Like everyone else, La Cieca has no clue what venue or venues these productions will play.

In possibly not unrelated news, La Cieca has heard that 15 NYCO employees were laid off yesterday, and in the past couple of days, at least three board members have resigned.