New York City Opera is shutting down after a
Kickstarter campaignfailed to raise enough money to save it from bankruptcy.
The company hoped to use the fundraising website to raise at least $US1 million of the $US7 million they needed to stay in operation. According to The Wall Street Journal, a total of $US301,019 was raised by 2,108 donors, but it was not ultimately enough to save the struggling company, which has run deficits since 2003.
The opera will soon begin the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has cancelled this season’s remaining shows. Their last performance was “Anna Nicole” in late August.
City Opera was founded in 1943 and was known for showcasing young, up-and-coming talent at affordable prices.
“My early performances with New York City Opera were what really kicked off my international career, and I look back on those days with enormous pride,” renowned Spanish tenor Placido Domingo said to The Los Angeles Times. “And I am only one among many, many singers who have had essential early training and encouragement with this company over the 70 years of its existence.”
City Opera was forced to leave its home at the Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre in 2011. Chorus and orchestra members, who took an 80% pay cut in 2012, say they hope to perform together with a different company in the future.
The status of the company’s liabilities, as well as the future of their archives and music library, is unclear at this time. St. Ann’s Warehouse, a performance venue in Brooklyn, had been collaborating with City Opera for a production of “Bluebeard’s Castle” set to open in February. The 245 tickets they sold so far will be refunded, artistic director Susan Feldman told The WSJ’s Jennifer Maloney.
She said the closing of City Opera is bound to have an effect on the international opera community.
“It just creates tremendous doubt and confusion and a sense of helplessness,” she said.
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