We are profoundly troubled by George Steel's recently announced plans to leave Lincoln Center, and strongly second Maestro Rudel's feelings that the location has become a scapegoat for poor leadership and planning, masqueraded under the rubric of a "new era."
Gerard Mortier's abrupt departure left one shining star in its wake: the renovated theater. Improvements we and our audiences had dreamed of for decades are finally in place; among these, an expanded orchestra pit and superb acoustics. Surrounding the theater, Lincoln Center's renovation renders it vibrant as never before, physically revitalized and artistically thriving. Each new theater, vista, fountain, and restaurant is a gift to its visitors, patrons, and constituent organizations. How can we not stay?
Few realize that over the past two years, in order to safeguard the company's survival, the orchestra agreed to concessions amounting to a $2.5 million donation to NYCO. These past two seasons would not have been possible without this generosity. It was never our intent to enable a time during which misguided management could effectively orchestrate the company's demise.
Fiscal aspects of running a company are the responsibility of management and the board; artistic excellence belongs to its artists. Under difficult circumstances, we have held up our end. They must hold up theirs.
We, the undersigned, want New York City Opera to remain in its home at Lincoln Center.
Since its founding in 1943, New York City Opera, one of America's preeminent arts institutions, also known as "The People's Opera" has been celebrated for its artistic excellence and affordability. The company's adventurous approach to repertory, both traditional and contemporary, and support of the careers of promising young opera singers has earned it the world renown it enjoys to this day.
All this is threatened by the current ill conceived plans to move out of the recently renovated DHK Theater at Lincoln Center.
I add my voice to the growing chorus of individuals who want to see New York City Opera remain at Lincoln Center. Save New York City Opera!