On Tuesday, Judge Sean Lane of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan approved the opera's plan, which calls for it to be run by NYCO Renaissance, an organization headed by hedge fund manager Roy Niederhoffer. Under the plan, NYCO Renaissance will contribute $950,000 in cash to pay off the opera's creditors — who approved the proposal — and get the organization up and running again. Gene Kaufman, who also had proposed a reorganization plan for the opera, will receive $300,000 for his expenses from Niederhoffer's foundation.
With a clean slate, City Opera will work to attract audiences and donors with a mix of opera staples and niche works. Michael Capasso, who previously headed a small opera company that has since folded, will serve as general director.
The approval comes just before the curtain is set to rise on a NYCO Renaissance production of Tosca scheduled to run January 22 to 24 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "We have worked diligently to revive this important New York institution by looking to its original mission as 'The People's Opera'," Niederhoffer said in a statement announcing the Tosca performances, "[while] developing a viable, entrepreneurial business model, and paving the way for the company to return to its critical place in the city's cultural landscape."