Updated 05/21/2011 02:45 PM
New York City Opera To Leave Lincoln Center
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Budget woes are forcing the New York City Opera out of Lincoln Center.
The board of the cash-strapped opera voted Friday night to move out of its current home, cut staff and reduce performances.
The slimmed down schedule will now include five operas and three concerts.
It's expected to save the organization $4.5 million.
"Even if you sell out every seat at full price you are still going to lose thousands of dollars when the curtain goes up," said Former New York City Opera Employee Bill Jones.
The vote comes as the 68-year-old opera deals with dwindling endowments, a multimillion-dollar deficit and tough labor negotiations.
Union leaders have been threatening to strike if working hours and benefits are cut.
"What's really funny is that they just spent a billion dollars to redo the plaza -- which we really didn't' need -- while the companies here are barely hanging on by a thread," Jones said.
Fans who spoke with NY1 say the opera's struggles should be a wake up call to support the arts.
"It's part of our history, our culture. It makes us more humane," said one opera patron.
"It's a little confusing. If you want to go see a production or a show you have to see where it's going to be instead of knowing it's in one spot," said another.
The opera's general manager says an announcement on a new home will be made in a few weeks.
The city opera season starts in October.