Briefly noted: Another opera company goes down

Yesterday, I received this email message from Gotham Chamber Opera:

From Il sogno di Scipione (2001), Gotham Chamber Opera's first production. (Photo by Richard Termine)

From Il sogno di Scipione (2001), Gotham Chamber Opera’s first production. (Photo by Richard Termine)

Dear Friends,

We wanted to write to you to express our profound sadness and to thank you for all that you have done to support our work. Our Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cease the operations of Gotham Chamber Opera, and we are beginning preparations to wind down the company.

Thank you to all our donors, audience members, artists and creative partners for fifteen glorious years of intimate opera. We hope you will share the memories with us by visiting the archives of our website and feel proud of what we were able to accomplish together.

Thank you so very much.

Sincerely,

Neal Goren
Founding Artistic Director

Beatrice Broadwater
Board President

Alex Ross’s blog has a short post from a few days ago announcing the same thing, with a link to a New York Times report and to two columns by him on Gotham’s work. Coincidentally, the New York City Opera ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy almost exactly two years ago.

One might imagine that, as a smaller-scale operation, GCO offered lower prices than the big shows in town. Not exactly true, if memory serves; the Metropolitan Opera’s cheapest ticket is less expensive than the cheapest seat I ever saw offered by GCO, which is one reason I never saw its work. But I will miss the opportunity to see operatic productions in relatively small spaces; GCO performed in venues as intimate as (Le) Poisson Rouge and The Box, both of which are essentially nightclubs. Another thing to lament is the vanishing of what Ross called GCO’s “offbeat repertory,” which ranged from Monteverdi and Cavalli to the premier of a work by Nico Muhly; there’s a production history in the Wikipedia entry, and a detailed list is still available at GCO’s website.

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