New York City Opera near bankruptcy; Kickstarter effort falling short

A scene from the New York City Opera's production of "Anna Nicole" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
(Stephanie Berger / Associated Press)

New York’s second-largest opera company appears to be on the brink of bankruptcy as an emergency fundraising effort is failing to meet its target, barring any last-minute miracle.

The New York City Opera was looking to raise $1 million through Kickstarter by the end of September. As of late Saturday, the campaign had received less than $250,000 in pledges. The company had said it needs to raise a total of $7 million by the end of the month or it would have to suspend its 2013-14 season.

The New York City Opera is expected to file for bankruptcy protection Monday if its emergency campaign doesn’t meet its target. It has said that it has raised $1.5 million outside of Kickstarter.

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The bankruptcy would leave the city with only one major opera company: the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center.

The New York City Opera resided at Lincoln Center for many years but was had decamp in 2011 amid financial difficulties. Since then, it has produced scaled-back seasons at venues around the city, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it recently opened “Anna Nicole,” an opera about the late celebrity Anna Nicole Smith.

The company had been looking to raise a total of $20 million by the end of 2013.

Founded in 1943, the New York City Opera has helped launch the U.S. careers of some prominent opera singers, including Placido Domingo and the late Beverly Sills.


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