Entertainment & Arts

New York opera company falls short of fundraising goal

A scene from Anna Nicole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Image caption New York City Opera has just finished presenting Anna Nicole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

An emergency fundraising campaign launched by a New York opera company has failed, forcing it to cancel its current season and file for bankruptcy.

New York City Opera turned to crowd-funding platform Kickstarter in its efforts to raise the $7m (£4.3m) it said it needed to continue operating.

This week, though, its board announced, "with much regret", that it "did not achieve the goal" of its appeal.

Tenor Placido Domingo was among those to pledge support for the company.

"The company has done incredible work for so many decades, and it has played an essential role in New York's cultural scene," he said last week.

"It would be an absolute tragedy for that legacy to come to an end."

"It is with much regret that we announce the end of our fundraising campaign on Kickstarter and the cancellation of the 2013-2014 season," the company announced on the Kickstarter website.

"The board and management will begin the necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the company."

Established in 1944 and dubbed "the people's opera", New York City Opera sought to make opera more accessible and at affordable prices.

In recent years the company has faced financial difficulties that forced it to leave New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 2011.

If the company is wound up completely, Saturday's performance of Anna Nicole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music may prove to be its swansong.

Based on the life of the late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera was first seen at the Royal Opera House in London in 2011.

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