New York City Opera

The New York City Opera ( NYCO ) was an opera institution in New York City, which existed from 1943 to 2013.


The New York City Opera was founded in 1943 and was according to the Metropolitan Opera (MET ) is the second largest cultural institution of its kind in the city. The aim was to allow entry by favorable prices visits to the opera for wider sections of the population, which is why the former mayor Fiorello LaGuardia called the NYCO as " the people 's opera". In the first opera season 1944, inter alia, Giacomo Puccini's Tosca and Georges Bizet's Carmen performed to ticket prices from 0.75 to 2.00 USD. In order to enable these low prices and because in any case could not be competing with the salaries of the MET, put the NYCO from the beginning to young performers and their education. The New York City Opera thus also became the springboard for several later international stars, such as, inter alia, Josep Carreras and Placido Domingo. First, the New York City Center has been used as a venue, since 1966 found the performances at the David H. Koch Theater (New York State Theater ) at Lincoln Center. Due to financial difficulties, the NYCO decided in 2011 not to take advantage of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, but instead perform at different stages in New York.

On 1 October 2013, the NYCO declared its insolvency and announced the closure and liquidation of.


Laszlo Halasz (1943-1951) Halasz was the first director of NYCO. He coined the company at this time by the consistent pursuit of the objectives: cheap admission prices, youth development and the promotion of American composers and artists. He also advocated to perform a season at least one foreign opera in English, also to reach a wider audience. Its budget for the first season was $ 30,463. Halasz also sat always new, hitherto unknown works on the game board. 1949 celebrated William Grant Stills opera Troubled Iceland World Premiere, it was the first opera by an African American who was played by a large opera house. Although Laszlo Halasz was dismissed due to ongoing disputes with the Board in 1951, his achievements were always recognized.

Joseph Rosenstock (1952-1956) After the dismissal of Halasz Rosenstock was appointed director, who was already active as a conductor for the NYCO until then. Under his leadership, the opera The Tender Land by Aaron Copland in 1954 celebrated its world premiere. For his decision to also include musicals in the repertoire, Rosenstock has been severely criticized and ridiculed by the press, but as the performance of Show Boat was sold out and the opera buffa Don Pasquale this season filled only 35 % of the places he saw confirmed. In 1956, he asked for his release because he had to do in this position too many commercial work, the music and the artistic got him doing too short.

Erich Leinsdorf (1956/1957) After the board had a request for dismissal of Rosenstock accepted, the conductor Leinsdorf was appointed director. However, he was also dismissed after a year, his short tenure was considered unlucky, most performances received poor reviews and the NYCO came into financial difficulties. Only the successful staging of Susannah by Carlisle Floyd, which henceforth became one of the most popular, and most listed after Porgy and Bess, opera in the United States, Erich Leinsdorf is credited.

Julius Rudel (1957-1979) as his successor Leinsdorf decided the Chief Julius Rudel, who worked for NYCO since the end of his studies in 1944. Under his leadership, the New York City Opera was in the 1960s as one of the best addresses for opera performances in the United States, recognized by critics and audiences. During the tenure pack found 19 world premieres and, from 1966, the move to the David H. Koch Theater, rather than as a performance space.

Beverly Sills (1979-1988) After 1979 Rudel decided to give up the post of Director, followed the well-known opera singer Beverly Sills, who ended her active career. During her tenure, the New York State Theater (David H. Koch Theater ) was renovated in 1982 for $ 5.3 million, and in 1983 introduced the surtitles in the United States. In case of fire in 1985, over 10,000 costumes were destroyed from the collection of NYCO.

Christopher Keene (1989-1995) on Sills ' recommendation followed her 1989 Christopher Keene, who had previously worked as a conductor and music director in the house. He held the office until his death at the age of 48 years. During his tenure, among others, fell a musician's strike and for years tense financial situation of loss-making company came to a head on.

Paul Kellogg (1996-2007) On Keene followed in 1996 by Paul Kellogg, who was previously director of the Glimmerglass Opera. Under his leadership, the NYCO has succeeded in numerous acclaimed by audiences and critics productions. He also passed the Series Vox: Showcasing American Composers a. This now annual under the name Vox, Contemporary Opera Lab event gives young composers and librettists the opportunity to perform their work in professional musicians and singers.

The Belgian opera and theater director and former artistic director of the Salzburg Festival Gerard Mortier was to take over from 2009, the line was General Manager and Artistic Director and prepared since the departure of Paul Kellogg for this task. Owing to heavy financial losses NYCO by the financial crisis from 2007 Mortier saw despite the two years of preparation but no longer in a position to offer an artistically ambitious program, and said in November 2008 abruptly from.

George Steel ( since February 2009)