Thursday, October 10, 2013

The New York City Opera Declares Bankruptcy

The curtains have fallen upon the New York City Opera aftera failed fundraising campaign fell short of the $7 million needed to keep open its doors. The opera is shutting down indefinitely and it’s unclear whether they’ll ever be back on their feet. 

When created by New York mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, it was deemed the “people’s opera”, giving access to the art of opera to the general public. It has proved to have a great impact upon the culture of the city of New York and the US as a whole in pioneering access to art for those less well off and its musical contributions.

While the average price of a ticket at the Metropolitan OperaHouse, the New York City Opera’s older sister institution,is $174, the New York City Opera provided an opportunity for people to see its entire season for $100—opening doors for opera to be accessed even by those of limited means.

Many great singers passed the halls and made their careers in this “moststoried” of all opera houses including Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo, and Catherine Malfitano.  It has made its mark as bringing adventurous contemporary works to the New York stage such as Mark Anthony Turange’s Anna Nicole and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The Opera is also known for its workshop that allows composers to hear their operas performed by live singers and musicians.

The opera has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a form of debtrestructuring which allows companies and organizations a chance to restart andmove forward.   Mr. Moton views this move with a sense of optimism.  Many arts organizations have filed for bankruptcy and came out better, including the San Antonio Symphony.  He comments, “The arts are a national treasure.  That they resort to bankruptcy protection demonstrates valiant attempts to preserve a part of the fabric of our lives.”

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