New York City Opera To Leave Lincoln Center, Cut Staff

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The board of the financially troubled New York City Opera voted to move out of its home at Lincoln Center, cut staff across the board and scale back its performance schedule as it fights for survival.

Friday’s move comes as the 68-year-old organization deals with a dwindling endowment, a multimillion-dollar deficit, and contentious negotiations with its union staff.

George Steel, the opera’s general manager and artistic director, said an announcement on a new home would be made in weeks. He said staff cuts would include administrative positions.

The New York City Opera is revered as a pillar of American culture that has delivered daring new productions and built the careers of such stars as Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills. It has been at Lincoln Center since 1966.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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  • TwiThreeManyWisconsins

    Why would I have wanted to attend an event in a place named for David Koch? What’s next, the Scott Walker Phiharmonic Hall?

  • Marina Ios

    i really cannot understand this unions…not only in this case, hospitality industry also, and – i guess- other fields as well…what is so difficult to understand that during hard economic times , union or not, we all need to make some concessions…..i remember, after 9/11, when the hospitality business went – like all others- rapidly down the drain, we were struggling to survive ( i was working as a manager in a hotel in manhattan), we were every single day inventing ways to keep the place floating, and , meanwhile we were bombarded by the staff union with – many times- absurd requirements. and when it came to the point that people were going to be laid off, it happened anyways….union or not

  • Ellis Santone

    To those like Robert Grandt, just go to the Met! Why would you want to see the same program you can see there? It has great voices, is not very innovative and very expensive. City Opera like European opera houses attempts to bring new works to NYC and also provide a home for new voices, the fledgling international stars of the future. It’s not Mr. Steele’s lack of taste, but the lack of public taste and insight about music who think that opera composition ended in the 19th Century in Europe. Its seems to me I have seen excellent Carmen’s, Butterfly’s and Boheme’s at City Opera in recent years. Opera is not a dead art form, but will become one if there are no venues for new works.

  • NashChintz

    I loved how the City Opera did out of the main stream productions (Korngold, some Strauss lesser know operas) but I was always very aware that many did not and that often the house was less than full.

  • Annie

    Truly a tragedy – not just for audiences but for all who depended on the organization for a paycheck. But David Koch, who got the theatre named for him, makes more & more money every minute. Don’t tax the rich, they’ll provide jobs for us !!! When ???

    • Dale Auburn

      Of course, the biggest tragedy is for all those Upper West Side residents whose property values will suffer. Where is their bailout? Why aren’t they suing?

  • Robert Grandt

    If the City Opera performed works the public wanted to see, they wouldn’t be be leaving Lincoln Center. The public voted with their feet and wallets not to see the drek George Steele put on.

    I;ve been going to City Opera since 1960; but did not go once this entire past season. The reason: uninteresting, dull,and just God-awful operas.

    Obviously I’m not the only patron who felt this was as the house was 60% empty. People want to see Boheme, Tosca, Rigoletto, Traviata, etc.; not Seance On a Wet Afternooon.

    • Robert

      Innovators and visionaries fail more often than the passive and banal. The answer is not in abandoning these practitioners, but in perseverance and support.

  • Musical Mom

    Maybe they can find a new home on Long Island…Like the Tilles Center?

  • autumn

    The powers that be continue to dummy down America

  • michael

    this sucks when the city can’t even afford the opera then the mayor is a complete jerk and something must be done. lose the arts lose what NYC stands for

  • moe

    George Steel, the opera’s general manager and artistic director………… that former wrestling great george the animal steele

  • Scott

    I’m happy to hear this. A few less more to contend with.

  • Buble

    That is American way – money above everything. Shame but who is US cares for anything out of cache?!

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