New York City Opera Makes Staff Cuts; Orchestra Goes on Hiatus

Friday, June 03, 2011

New York City Opera confirmed today that 11 employees are being laid off as the company faces a $5 million dollar deficit. In addition, the company will eliminate four open positions, according to a company memorandum obtained by The New York Times on Friday.

Last month, City Opera announced plans to leave Lincoln Center's David Koch Theater, and eliminate staff, as it is in the throes of its worst financial crisis ever. The musician's union has filed a complaint with labor officials to prevent that move from happening, saying the decision violates labor laws.

On Thursday City Opera's director of artistic planning, Edward C. Yim, said he was leaving, without a replacement being named. Yim was brought on board by City Opera General Director George Steel, in 2009, and now plans to move across Lincoln Center Plaza to work as an artistic consultant for the New York Philharmonic.

The laid-off employees could receive up to eight weeks’ severance pay and medical coverage through July. In addition, one full-time job will be downgraded to part time. The company has not yet announced its 2011-12 season.

Orchestra Suspends Operations

In other economic news, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas will suspend operations for the upcoming 2011-12 season. According to a statement, the decision resulted from a substantial increase in operating costs, compounded by an anticipated decrease in corporate funding and government support.

The orchestra, based in New York, was founded in 2004 by Alondra de la Parra, a rising young Mexican conductor. It has made a specialty of Latin American music and became known in recent years for its education initiatives throughout New York City.

The orchestra's debut album, "My Mexican Soul," was released in August by Sony Classical.

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Comments [2]

Diane from Brooklyn

I am appalled at the decimation of what was once a great opera company. Under the guidance of Julius Rudel the New
York City Opera was a world class opera company assembling some of the most magnificent productions anywhere. As a teenager I learned my opera there. I saw and heard great stars like Beverly Sills and Norman Treigle as well as greats to be like Placido Domingo, Samuel Ramey and Carol Vaness. Artists like Tito Capobianco and Frank Corsaro directed spectacular productions like Mefistofele, Don Rodrigo, Giulio Cesare, Manon, Lucia di Lammermoor, Prince Igor, The Makropulos Affair, and The Cunning Little Vixen designed by greats like Ming Cho Lee and Maurice Sendak. In recent years, I have not attended City Opera productions because I rarely saw anything on the roster that interested me. The company needs Julius Rudel or his like again.

Jun. 04 2011 03:34 PM
Michael Meltzer

It always sounds trite to say that you cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs, but perhaps Ms. de la Parra's next career step will be a well-deserved giant step, for which the stage may now be set.

Jun. 03 2011 05:32 PM

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