If the The New York City Opera can’t raise $20 million by the end of the year, it may be forced to cancel the current (and possibly next year’s) opera season.
“The company’s been living on the edge and hand-to-mouth for a number of years, and we’ve gotten through our own share of financial troubles,” George Steel, the company’s general manager and artistic director, told the New York Times. “We’ve had balanced budgets for the last two years, and we’ve been doing, I think, incredible work onstage. But we can’t forge ahead without a significant infusion of capital.”
The opera company, which was founded 70 years ago, has helped establish the careers of several important singers including Beverly Sills, Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming.
The company is planning to go ahead with it’s upcoming production of “Anna Nicole,” but will be forced to cancel its subsequent operas such as Johann Christian Bach’s “Endimione,” Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” and Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” if at least $7 million isn’t raised by Sept. 30. The entire 2014-15 season will also be cancelled if the company cannot raise $13 million by the end of December, Steel added.
“You can’t run the opera on a hope and a prayer,” explained the opera company’s chairman, Charles R. Wall. “You’ve got to pay bills. And you’ve got to raise the money to pay them. That’s the simplest way I can put it. And you cannot spend what you do not have.”