City Opera suspends next season, examines business plan

Posted on: April 8, 2011

In Friday’s (4/8) Wall Street Journal, Erica Orden writes, “The New York City Opera has suspended plans for next season as it takes a hard look at its business model, including exploring cheaper alternatives to its current home at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Charles Wall, the opera’s new chairman, said he and the board have embarked on an exhaustive review of its finances and won’t schedule future programming until reaching a balanced budget. … The opera had been expected in recent weeks to announce its fall season, and its silence had created some ‘scuttlebutt,’ acknowledged Mr. Wall, a former vice chairman of Philip Morris International in Switzerland. … The review of its business model, which it expects to complete by mid-May, comes in response to several tumultuous years at the opera. Between late 2008 and early 2009, the company raided its endowment for a total of $23.5 million after getting approval from the New York state attorney general’s office, which oversees nonprofits. The endowment currently stands at just $9 million. During the same period, it went dark for a season during the renovation of its Lincoln Center home, the David H. Koch Theater.”

Posted April 8, 2011