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Will Lincoln Center become a white elephant?

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In today's New York Times it was announced that the New York Philharmonic was leaving Avery Fisher Hall and returning to Carnegie Hall. (Link below.)

The New York City Opera has long been unhappy in the New York State Theatre and has wanted to move. Plans as small as a return to City Center and as grandiose as building its own opera house have been discussed.

Very few have every had anything good to say about the acoustics at Avery Fisher Hall. From my limited experience as a viewer of opera at the New York State Theater (6 operas, many years ago) the complaints about it as a venue for the lyric theater are well made.

This will be interesting as it plays out.


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It's been on the news quite a bit today (both radio and tv) here in NY.

There was some commentary on one of the radio stations (sorry I don't know which, I was in a cab) saying that while it's good to spread the arts around the city, this separation will have it's effect on the arts and NYC as being a cultural capital. (deja vu considering the dance capital topic)

I tend to agree with the commentator, those buildings are hard to fill, smaller company's may not be so willing to front the bill for something they can't profit from.

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More Lincoln Center woes, from the NYTimes:

Lincoln Center Redevelopment Chairman Has Resigned

In the latest blow to Lincoln Center, Peter M. Lehrer, a construction executive, resigned yesterday as chairman of its redevelopment project, calling the project wasteful and badly managed.

"A lot of money has been spent on planning with not enough to show for it," he said yesterday.

Mr. Lehrer's departure follows the New York Philharmonic's decision 12 days ago to leave Lincoln Center for Carnegie Hall in 2006, a defection that Mr. Lehrer said sealed his decision. Avery Fisher has been the orchestra's home since 1962, and renovating it for the Philharmonic was the largest remaining component of the redevelopment. Lincoln Center officials say they still plan to refurbish that hall, though not for one flagship orchestra.

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I read today that the opening night galas for the Philharmonic and City Opera will not be televised on PBS, the reason supposedly being pique on the part of Lincoln Center management ("Just remember, it's 'Live from Lincoln Center, fellas!")

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