Did the fat lady sing for New York City Opera? And is this an operatic omen?
In a dramatic move that deserves its own aria, New York City Opera, the very first tenant of the center known as Lincoln, announced that it was up and moving.
No one, including NYCO, knows.
The question on everybody’s mind . . . is this the end of New York City Opera? And, gulp, is this the beginning of the end for opera???
It’s a challenged art form, no doubt. As less and and less people are brought up on it, less and less people are supporting it (either through ticket sales or donations).
Unfortunately, I think that in 10 years, the end of NYCO’s reign at Lincoln Center will be remembered as the closing that was heard around the world. More closings will follow. The audiences are shrinking, which means the business model will have to correct itself by decreasing supply. Ironically, competitors, like The Met (who has done a kick ass job of making opera relevant), will benefit.
What does this mean for our closely-related industry?
We’ve seen our audience contract in recent years. We’ve seen our ticket prices increase in recent years. And we’ve seen a billion other entertainment options pop up in your pocket!
It’s essential that we get out ahead of the opera so we’re not faced with a similar breaking news item in 10 years.
But I’m not sure we can.
In fact, I’ll predict right now that one of the major non-profit theaters in this city will go out of business in the next decade. Which one? Simple – whichever company chooses to produce shows that no longer feel relevant to today’s theatergoer.
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