New York City Opera to Auction Off Instruments, Costumes, Props

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 10:25 AM

Need a mustard-colored robe, a green-velvet chair or a harpsichord? The vestiges of 70 years of operatic history will go on the block on December 12 as New York City Opera plans to auction off its remaining sets, props, costumes, instruments and office equipment.

The public sale was approved Tuesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in Manhattan. The auctioneer, Tiger Remarketing Servicing LLC, will get 10 percent of the proceeds from the auction, which will go to satisfy debts incurred by City Opera. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

The liquidation includes numerous percussion instruments including a five-octave celesta, a xylophone and Ludwig concert toms. There will be dresses, capes, uniforms and other period costumes; shop equipment such as table saws and belt sanders; and computers, printers and paper shredders from the opera's office in Lower Manhattan.

"This is part of the process of winding down the company," said a company spokesperson.

City Opera previously auctioned off $500,000 worth of sets and costumes in January as part of a late effort to raise funds. The company announced it was closing on Oct. 3 after a campaign to raise enough funds for its 2014 season fell short.

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Comments [5]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Our country's emphasis on approbation and supporting the widest possible audience, allowing for the lack in the school systems for teaching the humanities, art and music, so that the general public knows NOTHING of the great cultural achievements and masterpieces, accounts for the non-interest in opera and classical music by the masses.
If an insufficient number of the public buys tickets, NO POTENTIAL FINANCIAL SUSTENANCE will take up the slack.

Nov. 23 2013 10:39 AM
David from Flushing

I hope some other opera company can make use of these things. The sale arrangements seem to discourage individual buyers. I can imagine the difficulty for the auctioneer if someone was looking for a costume of a certain size in a huge warehouse. If only gold capes were still in fashion! I wonder if the head from "Salome" is among the items.

Nov. 21 2013 07:27 PM
The Truth from LES

Outrageous. This makes me so angry!

Nov. 21 2013 03:02 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

It is just a sad commentary on the Opera and Classical Music scene in the United States today.
The unions are milking insanely high hourly wages from concert halls and opera houses, and management does not produce performances of high enough quality to attract audiences. Once that happens the "fat cat" donors that are essential for a company to exist, since box office sales cover only about 50% of a companies expenses, run the other way.
The Baltimore Opera closed, The Washington Opera was taken over by The Kennedy Center at the verge of bankruptcy.
Thank God the Met has a large endowment and still has families like the Bass's and Harringtons who will give them many millions of dollars, but times are changing and the only guarantee of long term survival is for an orchestra or Opera Company to be well managed and produce quality performances.
I fear our Virginia might go the same way with Peter Mark its founding Music Director and conductor was recently thrown under the bus, now a company that use to play to full houses opens productions with 50% of its seats unsold., and unhappy donors, y
WQXR should do a piece on the tragedy of the Virginia Opera in recent years and its abrupt firing of Mr. Mark, who presently resides in New York City part of year Happy Thanksgiving, God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Nov. 21 2013 02:55 PM
brunnhilde from nyc

How can we auction off mis-management????

Nov. 21 2013 12:44 PM

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