The curtains are closing for one piece of the vast New York City cultural scene. According to an AP report via CBS News today, the New York City Opera has announced that it is filing for bankruptcy protection and shutting down.
The move comes after a month of fundraising efforts to keep the opera running. $7 million needed to be raised by the end of September to stay afloat, but the company only brought in just under $2.5 million. Part of that sum was raised through a Kickstarter campaign, which garnered $301,019 from pledges made by 2,108 donors.
"New York City Opera did not achieve the goal of its emergency appeal," spokeswoman Risa Heller said. "Today, the board and management will begin the necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the company, including initiating the Chapter 11 process."
Closing the NYCO's doors will bring to an end nearly 70 years of performing. It first launched on Feb. 21, 1944 with a premiere performance of the Puccini opera "Tosca." Since then it has presented a variety of operas ranging from classic to quirky: the 2013-14 slate of shows includes both "The Marriage of Figaro", which has now been scrapped, and "Anna Nicole," a two-act opera about late ex-Playmate and reality star Anna Nicole Smith that opened what became the company's final season.
A few cited reasons for the bankruptcy include management hiring decisions, a shrinking endowment, losing a year while Lincoln Center underwent construction, and ultimately leaving Lincoln Center to roam around various NYC venues.