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Board Of Troubled New York City Opera Meets To Discuss Future

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York City Opera spokeswoman says board members have extended their discussions about the company’s future into Thursday evening.

The spokeswoman said no announcements are expected before Friday.

The opera, which built daring new productions and the careers of Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills, is fighting for its life.

The board chairman has contributed $2.5 million toward plugging a deficit twice that much.

A union leader said singers and production staff are threatening to “strike and drive City Opera out of existence” if working hours and benefits are cut.

The opera spokeswoman said the company is “focused on moving forward with a balanced budget” to ensure it continues to thrive.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • MBW

    If Messrs. Steel and Wall want to have a quaint little “performance art” company in Soho that occassionally makes sojourns into my Aunt Bertha’s basement for performances, let them have it and not sully the great name of the New York City Opera. These gentlemen should start their own company and do as many obscure pieces as they like by fourth and fifth rate composers – pieces that no one has heard of and very few wish to see. If NYCO must go, then let it die with honor – not live in shame – or turn it over to the artists that ARE the company. Or is it illegal now to have an arts organization run by actual trained and experienced artists and business people – and not a tobacco attorney or some broker from Goldman Sachs? It used to be that artists made all the important decisions and board members provided the financial backup. Welcome to the bizarro world where everything is the opposite!

  • Jeff Blocker

    This is sad beyond sad news, to hear of the plight of this once great opera company. I remember that one could go and have a delightful evening hearing some of the great bel canto repertoire along with the later 19th and early 20th century masterpieces. I remember being often with various friends and sometimes my very aged piano professor, just reveling in the show.

    This is a vast tragedy for the cultural life, the “high cultural life” of New York City and the rest of the world, frankly.

  • None Of Your Business

    Rather than take /working hours/pay cuts and benefits cuts, the unions would rather drive City Opera out of business so that union members can lose their jobs and join the ranks of the unemployed. Let’s get rid of unions.

    • EGC`

      Union busting is not the answer . That’s a simple-minded solution to a very complicated situation. It’s about as smart as saying we should hire state trained eunuchs.

  • janet

    balancing the budget so the opera “continues to thrive”? doesn’t sound like they’re thriving now!

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