abatt

New York City Opera: trials and tribulations

114 posts in this topic

NYCB didn't grab the fall. NYCO handed it to them because they could afford to pay for the weeks.

Well, whatever the actual mechanics were, it's an unfortunate step for NYCO long term if they are ever to lengthen their performance schedule. If short term it solved the problem of paying the immediate bills, it's still a bit like cannibalizing your young. YEah, you have to eat, but your baby's gone. If it's a permanent arrangement for those prime fall weeks, I think it may very well come down to NYCO either going under or finding a new home.

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I hope they get a new home. But wasn't it Lincoln Center that blocked their attempts for a new house down by Battery (before the economy collapsed)?

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I hope they get a new home. But wasn't it Lincoln Center that blocked their attempts for a new house down by Battery (before the economy collapsed)?

I'm fuzzy on the details but I thought the interference from the Lincoln Center umbrella management was more a hindrance in building a new theater in the new building behind LC on AMsterdam Av. But you may be right in that they jinxed the deal downtown too.

Whatever has taken place it seems like there has been a sad long sequence of things that have gone wrong for NYCO.

They are a special company to me, I saw my first operas there many, many ,MANY years ago and have always enjoyed the varied rep they've done. Also back in the 60s and 70s there were so many edgy, compelling productions of standard rep; Frank Corsaro's Traviata's , Faust, and Butterfly were terrific takes on bread and butter rep.

But I don't think they were ever really all that welcome at Lincoln Center. The theater has always been unsuitable for them and Rudolph Bing at the Met did everything he could to block their move from City Center to Lincoln Center.

At this point I'd like to seem them get a break.

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I'm not a New Yorker but it would seem to me a real loss to the city if NYCO can't make it. Very sad situation.

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I hope they get a new home. But wasn't it Lincoln Center that blocked their attempts for a new house down by Battery (before the economy collapsed)?

I'm fuzzy on the details but I thought the interference from the Lincoln Center umbrella management was more a hindrance in building a new theater in the new building behind LC on AMsterdam Av. But you may be right in that they jinxed the deal downtown too.

At this point I'd like to seem them get a break.

Well, a significant step has been taken in the saga of this long, sad, tale. Susan Baker, the board chairman that has

led NYCO through many of the crazy events of the last seven years( including the two failed attempts to move to a new home touched on above) has been replaced.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-17/embattled-chairman-of-n-y-city-opera-leaves-diminished-company.html

Charles R Wall comes from Altria corp (don't want to TOUCH that one!) and hopefully he will be able to turn this beleaguered company around. I think it was inevitable that Baker had to go; right or wrong, too many negative events are attributed to her and I would guess that it has impacted on fund raising.

Here's hoping this is the start to a new , more positive, future for NYCO!

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Well, a significant step has been taken in the saga of this long, sad, tale. Susan Baker, the board chairman that has

led NYCO through many of the crazy events of the last seven years( including the two failed attempts to move to a new home touched on above) has been replaced.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-17/embattled-chairman-of-n-y-city-opera-leaves-diminished-company.html

Charles R Wall comes from Altria corp (don't want to TOUCH that one!) and hopefully he will be able to turn this beleaguered company around. I think it was inevitable that Baker had to go; right or wrong, too many negative events are attributed to her and I would guess that it has impacted on fund raising.

Here's hoping this is the start to a new , more positive, future for NYCO!

Sadly, more discouraging news on this front. As I noted in September, Charles Wall took over as Chairman in this beloved but struggling organization. They did open a limited Spring season but they have delayed the announcement about plans for the Fall. Well, not terribly surprisingly, they have finally announced that they will suspend operations for a while. No Fall season, maybe a move to another, less expensive venue, etc.

The Spring season got some good but not superlative notices but attendance has been spotty. Also , NYCO's agreement with AGMA expires the end of the month and how that enters into the mix, I don't even want to speculate.

I saw my first opera at NYCO, back in 1967 (am I really THAT old???) and so this company is very special to me and it's discouraging to see it struggle so much. There have been some terrible leadership gaffes over the last several years but I'm really hoping it can bob up to the surface again and pull through.

More details http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704013604576249123210258378.html

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In view of the fact that there will not be a fall season from NYCO, I hope the Koch Theater can be rented. Personally, I would much prefer to see an ABT mini fall season at the Koch than at City Center.

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In view of the fact that there will not be a fall season from NYCO, I hope the Koch Theater can be rented. Personally, I would much prefer to see an ABT mini fall season at the Koch than at City Center.

I would too. But it may be too late in the game to change a venue for just 5 or so months away. But I guess we will have to wait and see what NYCO decides and that may free up some blocks of time at the DHK.

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Thank you for keeping this thread up to date, richard53dog.

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I guess this was inevitable but the NYCO board voted today to leave Lincoln Center.

The situation seems very bleak but I'm hoping the company can be salvaged.

Here's an AP report on today's decision:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110521/ap_en_ot/us_music_nyc_opera

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I guess this was inevitable but the NYCO board voted today to leave Lincoln Center.

The situation seems very bleak but I'm hoping the company can be salvaged.

Here's an AP report on today's decision:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110521/ap_en_ot/us_music_nyc_opera

This is very sad news. We can only hope they can rebuild. The other questions is what happens to those weeks at State Theater. What other organization can share with NYCB.

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I guess this was inevitable but the NYCO board voted today to leave Lincoln Center.

The situation seems very bleak but I'm hoping the company can be salvaged.

Here's an AP report on today's decision:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110521/ap_en_ot/us_music_nyc_opera

Hard to know what to say apart from this is very bad indeed. Just a crying shame.

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They only raised 10 percent of their operating costs through ticket sales? This was very surprising to me, I am surprised they are not doing more joint ventures with other innovative companies, sharing expenses, etc.

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They only raised 10 percent of their operating costs through ticket sales? This was very surprising to me, I am surprised they are not doing more joint ventures with other innovative companies, sharing expenses, etc.

I past seasons NYCO regularly shared productions with other companies -- Houston's production of Handel's "Ariodante," e.g.-- and each season almost always included a production or two from the Glimmerglass festival. Some of their own productions might have been shared or hired out to other companies as well, but I haven't checked.

They threw their money at some real clunkers, though. They replaced a lovely and perfectly serviceable production of "Don Giovanni" with a dodo they abandoned after just one season.

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They only raised 10 percent of their operating costs through ticket sales? This was very surprising to me, I am surprised they are not doing more joint ventures with other innovative companies, sharing expenses, etc.

Jayne, I believe that figure, which is pretty horrifying, only refers to the last two years, where attendance has been really poor.

Basically this crisis has been brewing since 9/11. NYC's finances, which depended a lot on tourism, were of course a byproduct casualty of that terrible event.

Other arts organizations (theater, opera, symphony as well as ballet and other forms of dance) slowly recovered from that hit but NYCO started making a lot of questionable decisions right about then. I think they started to lose their way in the early years of the aughts and by the end of the decade were hit by a triple play of the fiasco over engaging Mortier/the dark season when NYST was being revamped/the 2008 recession.

They've always had ups and downs, they almost went out of business during the late 50s and then in the early 80s, so this isn't their only crisis but it's the worst.

Perhaps after a year or two of niche type seasons, they can gradually expand again. I'd really miss them terribly if they went under although the last 5 or 6 years haven't attracted me to any of their performances.

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Thanks, abatt.

Peter Martins, the ballet company’s ballet’s master in chief, has long talked of making the theater a world destination for dance.

An appealing idea for dance lovers, but the last paragraph, devoted to possible future tenants, struck me as slightly weird:

Among the likely candidates to fill regular slots are the San Francisco Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and several international companies, like the Royal Danish Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London.

Surely some of those dance companies would need an umbrella organization to invite and "present" them. I can't see them undertaking the risk of renting the hall themselves -- especially for "regular" seasons. Especially those financially strapped American companies. A festival of visiting companies -- of which any or all of the companies mentioned could of course be included -- does seem practical..

Does the Joyce, mentioned in the article as a possible presenter for part of the City Opera's old commitment, have the resources and connections to make this kind of thing work in a theater of this size?

And ... why not a festival of visiting opera companies? After all, wasn't a major factor behind those expansive renovations to improve the acoustics for opera performances? More ballet, definitely. Even modern dance. But is this desirable if the price that has to be paid is ... less opera?

Meanwhile the NYC Opera and the unions representing orchestra and chorus seem even more bogged down in disagreements. NYCO is seeking other venues, but also seem to be in the process of redefining themselves as a version of a freelance or even a pickup company.

http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=music

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Peter Martins, the ballet company’s ballet’s master in chief, has long talked of making the theater a world destination for dance.
An appealing idea for dance lovers, but the last paragraph, devoted to possible future tenants, struck me as slightly weird:
Among the likely candidates to fill regular slots are the San Francisco Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and several international companies, like the Royal Danish Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London.
Surely some of those dance companies would need an umbrella organization to invite and "present" them.

You're probably right about that. But it is an appealing idea, having at Lincoln Center a sort of Carnegie Hall for dance. The Joyce is great but too small for large ballet productions. And City Center seems to have a pretty full season already.

I wonder what makes more economic sense, to bring in a company's already-rehearsed orchestra or to hold rehearsals with a house orchestra put at the disposal of visiting companies. If that latter, maybe Lincoln Center could help alleviate some of NYC Opera's union troubles as reported in today's paper. But then there's the complication of figuring out how many weeks of work you can promise the musicians since not all ballets require an orchestra.

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This part makes me cringe from the Times article abatt posted (thank you):

Many in the dance world are concerned that the Koch could become a glorified rental house, rather than a stage with a clear master and mission. “There should be someone with a vision to create that place,” said Sergei Danilian, an arts manager who for 17 years has presented dance at City Center, adding, “It should become the world center for dance.”

Better hope it's not him though! He has wrecked enough damage with his "visions" over here on Segerstrom Center, I don't wish more of his influence on you guys.

I don't see why ABT doesn't at least consider doing a fall rep season at State. They wouldn't need to abandon the Met, but it seems like a more stable option than what they've been dealing with at City Center.

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Well, the Koch has its first new dance company as tenant, Paul Taylor. I guess there is no such thing as loyalty when it comes to business. Paul Taylor has performed at City Center for so many years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/arts/dance/paul-taylor-moves-shows-from-city-center-to-koch-theater.html?ref=arts

It does leave a bit of a sour taste in one's mouth.

How do the stage sizes compare? Will Taylor's works "fill" the stage??

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