New York City Opera May Sing Again

News   New York City Opera May Sing Again New York City Opera, which collapsed under a pile of debt in 2013, may get the chance to rise from its deathbed like Violetta in La Traviata and sing again thanks to an agreement reached by two opera lovers who have been battling for the rights to restart the company.

The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 3 that "architect and music aficionado" Gene Kaufman had agreed to accept $300,000 to withdraw his bid for NYCO's assets and allow former NYCO board member and hedge-fund manager Roy Niederhoffer to proceed with a plan to pay creditors and put the opera company back on the road to the limelight.

After many years at Lincoln Center's New York State Theater (now the Koch Theater), the company, which had been founded in 1943 as the low-cost "people's opera," left Lincoln Center due to financial difficulties and spent the 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons, performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and elsewhere.

The end came Oct. 1, 2013 when NYCO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Niederhoffer has been trying since then to put the company back on its feet. The Journal reported that his group, NYCO Renaissance Ltd., is backed by a committee representing the company’s unsecured creditors. The group has a plan to attract audiences and donors with "a mix of opera staples and niche works. Michael Capasso, who previously headed a small opera company that has since folded, would be the general director."

NYCO Renaissance recently announced plans to mount Puccini’s Tosca at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center Jan. 20-24.  

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