New York is a city of openings and closings.
September 30, 2013
Every imaginable kind of music fills the theaters of New York City each night - highlighted this year at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and now the New York City Opera.
Recently, a casting agent told me that generally there are 90,000 talented performers in the city at a given time looking for work - with only 1,800 employed in any of the venues briefly available.
From Broadway to the Opera Houses to off Broadway to off-off Broadway and other theaters and centers across the city - the need to create and perform remains with those willing to give their talent and passions a chance. While waiting for their "Big Chance" - they generally work in the food and beverage industry - waiters and bartenders - and continue to audition with high hopes and dreams of success as most are talented and beautiful.
Performers always have interesting backstories that inspiring, much like reality TV. When they come here for readings, it's often hard to say that I don't see them at the top yet alone staying there. In today's world, where no one wants to work unless they are passionate about it, one can only be hopeful as well as have a day job to pay the bills.
While the Metropolitan Opera prepares for a new season, it looks like it's curtains for the New York City Opera. Bankruptcy brought the final curtain down on a company that was called "the people's opera" by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia when it was founded 70 years ago, just after I was born.
Over the past 70 years, thousands of people have visited the New York City Opera House which has hosted the premieres of important works, helped the early careers of major singers, and been affordable enough to introduce several generations of New Yorkers to opera. I've read several singers who performed there back in the day, now retired, but still visit to enjoy the music. I like all music, but developed a taste for opera as I got older.
I've been to opening nights and closing nights and all I can tell you is that the energies are electric and filled with emotions you take away forever.
They say "It's not over until the fat lady sings" - and opera certainly has its share of buxom ladies, though in recent years replaced by slimline divas.
"It's not over until the fat lady sings" takes me to the 1996 film about aliens, Independence Day as spoken by Will Smith when he and Jeff Goldblum flew off to "kick ET's ass" and save the world. There is something about Will and Jeff smoking their cigars and talking about the Fat Lady singing that has always remained in my mind. Closure?
City Opera Takes What Is Expected to Be a Final Bow New York Times - September 29, 2013
After the curtain fell Saturday night on New York City Opera's production of "Anna Nicole" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a few chorus members wiped their eyes as they took their bows: it would most likely be the final performance in the storied company's 70-year history.
In praise of ... the New York City Opera The Guardian - September 30, 2013
In 2011, the NYCO moved out of its Lincoln Centre home. The season was cut from 115 performances to just 16.
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