On top of that money, the opera company wants to raise an additional $13 million by the end of 2013 towards future seasons, according to a press release. “If we don’t raise the ($7 million) by the end of Monday the board is going to begin the process of bankruptcy,” spokesperson Risa Heller told CNN on Friday. The company started a campaign to raise $1 million of that $7 million through an online fundraising site — Kickstarter.com — that will end September 30. As of Friday the online campaign had raised only $202,223 donated from more than a thousand supporters. The organization raised $1.5 million outside of Kickstarter campaign, according to Heller. “The odds have been against us for a long time,” George Steel, general manager & artistic director for the company, said in an online video, “but in the face of that difficulty we have made tremendous progress.” The company, dubbed “The People’s Opera” by former NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, was founded on the principle that every New Yorker should be able to afford to go to the opera, Steel said. Steel explains that in order for the company to break even, it would need to sell every ticket for $600, but instead the starting ticket price is actually $25 to make it more affordable. The New York City Opera received critical praise in the past for its world premieres of work including Robert Ward’s “The Crucible” and Anthony Davis’ “The Life and Times of Malcolm X.” The company opened its current season on September 17 with the opera “Anna Nicole,” and should it fail to raise the necessary funds by Monday, that could be the Company’s last production. “We need the help of the people we were founded to serve to put on our season this year,” Steel said, speaking to New York residents and opera fans everywhere. “We need you to come together and carry it forward into the future. I hope we can count on you.” This year marks the 70th anniversary of the New York City Opera, which opened in 1943, making it the second opera house in NYC.
New York seeks delay of costly FERC power capacity zone decision
It was like making a big art movie populated by all these creative individuals.” The film holds a place in history for being the first representation on film of New York’s hip-hop scene. In it, a graffiti artist named Raymond (Lee Quinones) who, under the pseudonym “Zoro,” traverses the city – especially the South Bronx – spray-paining subway cars (stationary targets are too easy for him). He avoids the cops, romances a girl (Sandra Fabara) and hits big when he tags the background for a major “underground” rap competition outside an abandoned downtown theater. Among the famous faces in the film are Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Flash and Busy Bee. Lee Quinones and Sandra Fabara in Wild Style. The Lower East Side edifice that’s used in the film for the big rap competition was used by Joe Papp for Shakespeare in the Park, says Ahearn. “The area where that amphitheater exists was always a desperate place …. Quinones went [to that lot] as a child, and learned how to do graffiti there. That I think is the metaphor for the whole movie: You can’t watch him painting graffiti there and say, ‘Oh, look at that vandalism.’ We were recreating a new kind of community there.” As for the genesis of the film itself, Ahearn recalls the vibrancy that spawned it – inspired, he says, as much by the 1972 Jamaican crime film “The Harder They Come” as by New York’s youthful energy at the time. “I’d go to clubs, and there was this whole feeling in the air that all of this was emerging. And it wasn’t just the Bronx, it was throughout the city. We started filming in June of 1980, in 16 mm.
New York City Opera sings the blues over finances, faces possible bankruptcy
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and the state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) said in a press release on Wednesday that the proposed new capacity zone in the Lower Hudson Valley could result in the construction of unnecessary new power projects. The PSC, NYPA and other New York utilities asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider its August decision allowing the state’s power grid operator, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), to create a new capacity zone in the Lower Hudson Valley that includes New York City. The NYISO has said it designed the new capacity zone to maintain system reliability and attract investments in new and existing generation and demand response resources. In basic terms, capacity markets pay generators to help keep existing power plants in service and build new units in order to maintain system reliability. Demand response providers who agree to reduce power usage when needed can also participate in capacity markets. The new zone will include the current NYISO zones G, H and I in the Lower Hudson Valley and zone J in New York City. The PSC and NYPA said the state is already working on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s so-called Energy Highway initiative to expand the state’s transmission resources to bring more power from upstate New York to the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City area. The PSC and NYPA said the Energy Highway could negate the need for FERC to offer financial incentives to build more power plants downstate. “We strongly urged FERC to reconsider its decision to create a new capacity zone in New York, which it says is needed to build more power plants downstate to alleviate demand for electricity,” PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said in the release. “We are well aware of the downstate demand for electricity…However, in its decision, FERC did not take into consideration the ongoing initiatives included in the Governor’s Energy Highway,” Zibelman said. The biggest power companies in New York include units of Consolidated Edison Inc, National Grid Plc, Iberdrola SA, Entergy Corp, TransCanada Corp and NRG Energy Inc. COSTS TO RISE The PSC said if FERC’s plan goes into effect, typical residential customers in the Lower Hudson Valley could see monthly bill increases ranging from 5 percent to almost 10 percent, depending on the utility. The increases for industrial and commercial customers could be even higher, the PSC said. “Creation of a permanent new capacity zone undermines the Governor’s Energy Highway initiatives,” Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive, said in the release.