8 September 2013
New York City Opera's Current, Future Seasons Imperiled As Company Faces Daunting $20 Million Fundraising Goal
New York City Opera, which in 2011 was forced to vacate its Lincoln Center home to become an itinerant company presenting just sixteen performances annually in numerous venues around New York City, may have to cancel much of its current season as well as the entirety of its 2014-15 season if the company fails to meet a daunting $20 million fundraising goal by the end of 2013, the New York Times reported today.
While City Opera still intends to present next week's scheduled American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera Anna Nicole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, George Steel, City Opera's general manager and artistic director, told the Times that it would be forced to cancel the other productions it had slated for this season — Johann Christian Bach's Endimione, Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro — unless $7 million can be raised by September 30. Steel added that City Opera would be forced to cancel its entire 2014-15 season if the company fails to raise an additional $13 million by December. According to the Times, the $20 million fundraising target is roughly $8.5 million more than the company reported as having raised last year.
While City Opera had reportedly planned to expend $10.5 million on the current season's offerings, it has thus far only received commitments for slightly more than $3 million, the Times reports. City Opera's endowment — which stood at a record high of $57 million in 2003 — now reportedly only provides the company with $200,000 a year in investment income.
"We lack a few critical things, and have for a number of years," Steel is quoted as telling the Times. "We don't have much return from our endowment, we don't have any operating capital, and we don't have any credit. So what money we have at the beginning of the month is the amount of money we can spend."
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