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June 7, 2011

Voices rising to make the case for saving New York City Opera

There is a growing chorus of dismay and anger over the dire situation at New York City Opera.

That company has one of the most distinguished track records in the business, all the more remarkable given that it lived in the shadow of the better-funded, higher-profile Met.

Like many an arts group, NYCO has had its troubles raising money and selling tickets.

But a lot of the recent troubles there seem self-inflicted, which makes the matter all the more lamentable. 

The current plan calls for moving NCYO away from Lincoln Center to points as yet unknown, to perform repertoire as yet unannounced at a budget as yet undetermined, managed by an administration that was just drastically reduced.

There's something terribly wrong with this picture.

I heartily recommend that you read two eloquent pleas that appeared Tuesday.

One is in ...

the form of an op-ed in New York Times written by the wonderful conductor Julius Rudel, who spent decades at NYCO and contributed greatly to its artistic legacy.

The other is an open letter to Mayor Bloomberg written by music critic George Loomis and posted on musicalamerica.com.

SUN STAFF PHOTO OF JULIUS RUDEL

Posted by Tim Smith at 12:26 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes, Opera
        

Comments

Interestingly, I was thinking at a "Washington Opera - type solution", which George Loomis is advocating for the NY City Opera (i.e. absorbtion into Lincoln Center; makes sense to me) for the Philadelphia Orchestra with the Kimmel Center. As much as I hate losing the City Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra is a unreplaceable treasure.

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at baltimoresun.com/artsmash. This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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