The New York City Opera company may have to shut down after 70 years of performing some of the most well-known productions.

The New York Times reported on Thursday (26th Sept) that City Opera’s board is facing a season which they can’t afford an has voted to star bankruptcy proceedings if the company couldn’t raise $7 million by Monday (Sept 30th).

Going into the weekend it is looking unlikely that the company will reach its target as they have only raised less than a quarter of what they need to stay operational.

The company’s Saturday production of ‘Anna Nicole’ by Mark-Anthony Turnage and an English libretto by Richard Thomas at the Brooklyn Academy of Music could very well be its last show in the Opera’s storied 70 year career.

The newspaper also reported that the Opera Company has been struggling financially for years and in 2011 the company was forced to leave its usual home at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan to become an itinerant group.

The company’s financial woes were most recognisable in the cut back of their performances, ten years ago it would put on 115 shows per season but due to their current circumstances it was only able to host 16 shows last year.

The dramatic fall demonstrates the desperation the company finds itself in.

When the City opera was founded 7 decades ago, Major Fiorello H. La Guardia of New York called it ‘the people’s opera’ and the first ever performance back in 1944 was Puccini’s ‘Tusca’ with tickets priced between 85 cents to $2.25.

It seems the fat lady has finally sung which is ironic as the last ever performance depicted tabloid sensation ‘Anna Nicole Smith’ who wasn’t fat in the slightest, and as the unwanted Monday morning arrives, it will signal the end of an era.

The company says an additional $13 million has to be raised by the end of this year to fund its 2014-15 season.

anna nicole smith
Anna Nicole Smith in her last film role before her untimely death