Anthony Tommasini from the NYT chronicles the New York City Opera’s proper sendoff over the weekend. NYCO was shuttered when it ran into the increasingly and unnervingly common predicament of having no funds to pay staff.
This was a somewhat bittersweet party. (…) It was stirring yet also sad. Here was a top-notch orchestra all dressed up with no place to go.
NYCO’s final act was a gallant one. Some groups don’t even get a chance to say goodbye before they’re unceremoniously closed down. Still, it was a tough final act.
The most moving moment, though, came when the conductor Julius Rudel, City Opera’s longest-serving general director (1957-79), was brought out in a wheelchair to an enthusiastic ovation. Mr. Rudel, who turns 93 next month, waved to the audience but did not speak. At that initial “Tosca” performance in 1944, Mr. Rudel, a rehearsal pianist with the company, was backstage at City Center.
When City Opera folded in September, Mr. Rudel spoke to the New York Times. “I would not have thought in my wildest dreams,” he said, “that I would outlive the opera company.