Placido Domingo: New York City Opera Demise Would Be A ‘tragedy’

New York City Opera sings the blues over finances, plans to file for bankruptcy

PHOTOS: LA Opera through the years The expected closure of City Opera — whether it be temporary or permanent — is seen as a major blow to New York’s cultural community. Earlier this month the company launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million toward its $7 million goal. But the online campaign has brought in less than $300,000 in pledges as of Monday. City Opera, which was formerly located at Lincoln Center , has faced serious financial problems for the past several years and has recently presented scaled-back seasons at venues around New York. During its heyday it nurtured the early careers of such notable singers as Domingo and the late Beverly Sills . “It would be an absolute tragedy for that legacy to come to an end,” said Domingo,in statements sent by his spokeswoman. The tenor is currently conducting performances of Bizet’s “Carmen” at Los Angeles Opera, where he is general director. Here are Domingo’s full statements about City Opera: “I have strong personal feelings about New York City Opera. I had my first really important New York engagements with City Opera in the mid-1960s, I sang the U.S. premiere of Ginasteras ‘Don Rodrigo’ there, and I even toured with City Opera — in fact I made my debut in Los Angeles, which has played such an important part in my life, with City Opera, before LA had a major company of its own. And I am only one among many, many singers who have had essential early training and encouragement with this company over the 70 years of its existence. CRITICS’ PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat “I think its terrible that a city as big and as wealthy as New York cant support a second major opera company one that is able to take risks with repertoire, engage relatively inexperienced singers, and make other experiments in a way that a huge ensemble like the Met simply cant do. This is the role that it has filled in the past and it would be a shame if it cant continue to fill it in the future… “My early performances with New York City Opera were what really kicked off my international career, and I look back on those days with enormous pride. The company has done incredible work for so many decades, and it has played an essential role in New York’s cultural scene for millions of opera lovers.

L.A. Opera through the years

Yep, in this key insurance category Enlarge Bloomberg Despite last year’s Super Storm Sandy that left significant damage along New York’s coast line, residents are only seeing 1.1% increases in homeowner policy rates after they file their first claim. On Monday, we discussed why banking in New York City is actually more affordable than other areas of the country, thanks to a Bankrate.com survey. But that’s not the only area where New York is a surprising bargain. Bankrate’s sister comapny, InsuranceQuotes.com , released a study this morning that shows New York State residents with homeowner policies see only a 1.1% hike a on average–in their insurance rates after they make their first claim on said policy. That number is quite low. New York is only bested by Texas, which by law does not allow insurance providers to bolster rates at all after a policyas first filed claim. The national average for rate increases after an initial claim is filed is a 7.9% bump from New Yorkas stat at 9%. Despite a large number of New York residents who saw protected property damaged by last yearas Super Storm Sandy , the state has managed to stay far away from the rate increases of Minnesota, which leads the nation with 21.2% premium hikes on average after a single claim is filed. Residents of neighboring New Jersey sit right at the average with approximately 9% increases after an inaugural claim is filed . Because of states like that, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, Laura Adams urged U.S. residents to weigh their options before filing damages to covered properties with their provider. aHomeowners should think very carefully about whether or not to make a claim,a she said via a release. aLetas say you have a $1,000 deductible and the claim is going to lead to a 20% rate hike; itas probably not worth making a modest-sized claim.a Page 1

New York state a steal? Yep, in this key insurance category

New York, Superstorm Sandy, SBA

On top of that money, the opera company also needed to raise an additional $13 million by the end of 2013 to put toward future seasons, it said in a news release. Because it “did not achieve the goal of its emergency appeal,” it said in a statement Monday, “the board and management will begin the necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the Company, including initiating the Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) process.” The company had hoped to raise $1 million of the $7 million through an online site, Kickstarter.com, in a campaign that ended Monday. It raised only $301,019 from more than 2,000 donors. The organization raised $1.5 million outside of the Kickstarter campaign, according to Risa Heller, spokeswoman for the New York City Opera. “The odds have been against us for a long time,” George Steel, general manager and artistic director for the company, said in a video for the failed online campaign, “but in the face of that difficulty we have made tremendous progress.” The company, dubbed “The People’s Opera” by former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, was founded on the principle that every New Yorker should be able to afford to go to the opera, Steel said. He explained that in order for the company to break even, it would have needed to sell every ticket for $600. Instead, the starting ticket price was set at $25 to make the experience affordable. The New York City Opera received critical praise in the past for its world premieres of works including Robert Ward’s “The Crucible” and Anthony Davis’ “The Life and Times of Malcolm X.” It opened its current season on September 17 with the opera “Anna Nicole,” which turned out to be the company’s last production. “We need the help of the people we were founded to serve to put on our season this year,” Steel had said, speaking to New York residents and opera fans everywhere. “We need you to come together and carry it forward into the future. I hope we can count on you.” In a statement from the American Federation of Musicians, President Tino Gagliardi said that despite the musicians making great sacrifices in wages and benefits to keep the City Opera afloat they long feared this would happen. “NYCO management’s reckless decisions to move the New York City Opera out of its newly renovated home at Lincoln Center … predictably resulted in financial disaster for the company,” Gagliardi said. The opera company left Lincoln Center in 2011 in an effort to save money. Since then it had staged performances at various venues.

New York Road Runners and TCS Sign Premier Partnership and Title Sponsorship of New York City Marathon

“TCS won us over with their commitment to our sport and to elevating the health and well-being of our community, their technological excellence and their belief in the infinite potential in front of us to jointly help and inspire people through running.” “We are delighted to be the title sponsor of the New York City Marathon from 2014. This partnership presents a great way for us to accelerate our engagement with communities in the New York area and across North America to raise awareness about health and fitness. Starting in 2014, we also aspire to make the TCS New York City Marathon a more technology-enriched and socially engaged experience for all its participants and fans across the world, using our core technology skills,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of TCS. He added: “As a marathoner myself, I’m personally proud to partner with the NYRR team to support the world’s most prestigious marathon as well as many year-round events and community programs across the five boroughs of New York. This partnership will also help us project the awareness and understanding of the TCS brand and its values beyond our core audiences and into the communities where we operate, not only in North America but globally.” With TCS, NYRR unveiled today the new logo for the 2014 Marathon, designed to commemorate the unprecedented new partnership and to provide an iconic uplifting symbol for the race. The new logo represents both organizations’ forward-thinking, community-focused vision. NYRR’s “Run for Life” manifesto champions the benefits of a lifetime of running, and is closely aligned with TCS’ Fit4Life program, which is built on the philosophy that “healthy individuals make healthy organizations.” Fit4Life, in natural alignment with NYRR’s “Run for Life” philosophy, is realized through the active engagement of employees and their families with local charities. TCS has been a technology consulting partner for NYRR since 2010. It previously developed mobile apps for the 2013 NYC Half and will create a new app for the 2013 Marathon, helping participants to track runners and to receive race results, information on the event, and tips for training. As part of the new partnership, beginning on November 5, 2013, TCS will be a principal sponsor of each of NYRR’s major five borough events and its key heritage events, including the Oakley New York Mini 10K, the Fifth Avenue Mile, and the Midnight Run, and will support NYRR’s youth and community programs. About NYRR New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 55 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilitiesbeginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildrento improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness. NYRR’s races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for life.

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