NYC Opera Bankruptcy: Opera Company Closes Doors After $7 Million Campaign Falls Short

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(Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)New York's Times Square, December 16, 2011

NYC Opera will file for bankruptcy, it was confirmed on Tuesday. After seven decades delighting opera-goers the popular New York City Opera will be shutting down due to financial woes.

The company had announced earlier in September that it needed to raise as much as $7 million by the end of the month or it would be forced to close its doors.

That plea had sparked a wave of donations, however, despite the massive generosity from donors, the fundraising plea ultimately fell well short of the $7 million goal. Spokeswoman Risa Heller explained that about $2 million had been raised, and another $301,019 was pledged from 2,108 donors in an online campaign, however, that would not be enough to keep the opera company afloat.

Heller said, "New York City Opera did not achieve the goal of its emergency appeal. Today, the board and management will begin the necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the company, including initiating the Chapter 11 process."

NYC Opera has been a hotbed for top opera talent over the years and big names such as Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming and Samuel Ramey have all passed through their doors.

However, the company has suffered financial hardship over recent years, with some blaming the 2008-2009 shutdown to reconstruct its auditorium at Lincoln Center for sparking the downturn.

Alan Gordon, national executive director for the American Guild of Musical Artists that represents the chorus, stage directors and principal singers has said, "City Opera's demise is the fault of people with a lot of money but no common sense, from Susan Baker's absurd flirtation with Gerard Mortier to (board chairman) Charles Wall's foolish support of George Steel when the singers and orchestra unanimously had no confidence in Steel's artistic vision."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also declined to intervene, saying this week: "The business model doesn't seem to be working."