New York City Opera, Inc. filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 3rd, 2013. The petition was filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The case was assigned to the Honorable Judge Stuart M. Bernstein under case # 1:13-bk-13240. Among the motions filed with the petition was a motion to authorize debtor to refund pre-paid tickets. Please click here for a docket summary.
New York City Opera, Inc. was dubbed “The People’s Opera” by former NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. It has hosted and performed traditional and contemporary operas since its founding in 1943. Debtor filed for Chapter 11 protection due to a projected $44.1 million deficit for 2012 and a combination of a troubled economy, decreased donations, and increasing pension obligations. The debtor raised approximately $1.5 million from an online fund-raising campaign (Kickstarter), but required $7 million by the end of September in order to fund itself through the end of the year. The board and management have begun necessary financial and operational steps to wind down the company with no plans to borrow in order to fund the 2014 season.
Debtor claims assets and liabilities of between $1 and $10 million and 93 creditors including New York City Ballet, Inc. and the New York City Dept. of Finance. Please refer to the docket summary for a complete list of creditors. The debtor is represented by Kenneth A. Rosen and Nicole Stefanelli of Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
Salene had the privilege of hanging out with Nicole over the weekend in NYC. Nicole and Salene had met at the American Bankruptcy Institute this past Spring. They were also friends via Twitter. Nicole said that this Chapter 11 filing has been published in newspapers all over the world. She also said that her firm was doing the representation PRO BONO. She will be handling first day motions on Thursday!
This will definitely be an interesting case to watch.