New York City Opera Board Votes to Start Bankruptcy Proceedings

By Adam Hetrick
26 Sep 2013

George Steel
George Steel

The board of New York City Opera, which went public earlier this month with a campaign to raise $20 million in urgently needed funds, has voted to begin bankruptcy proceedings next week, according to the New York Times.

The opera's board voted Sept. 26 to begin bankruptcy proceedings should the non-profit organization be unable to raise the $7 million needed to remain in operation by the end of the month. Officials told the New York Times that the organization has raised only $1.5 million of the $7 million required.

A Kickstarter campaign, which was launched to raise $1 million for the beleaguered organization, has raised only $137,138 with four days remaining in the fundraising window.

NYCO's acclaimed production of Anna Nicole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music continues through Sept. 28 and could potentially be the company's final production.



Unless funding can be raised within the next four days, the company will shut its doors Sept. 30.

NYCO, under the leadership of general manager and artistic director George Steel, announced in May 2011 that it would vacate its permanent home since 1966 at Lincoln Center in order to streamline operating costs, opting instead to perform in venues across New York City. The move aimed to save the organization $4.5 million, according to a New York Times report.

In recent years the opera used $24 million from its endowment to cover expenses and repay loans. The organization, which Steel described to the Times as "living on the edge and hand-to-mouth for a number of years," has been unable to repay the endowment, which at one time provided $3 million in funding annually. That number has now dropped to less than $200,000 per year.

To support NYCO, visit the Kickstarter campaign here.