In the Arts: N.Y. City Opera Paid $400,000 to Manager Who Never Took Helm

I can’t believe this story…I mean the nerve. Cultural workers are searching for jobs and arts organizations are struggling in this economy and the NYC Opera paid money to someone who never even dutifully filled the position. What are they thinking? They must have a lot of money to waste. It must be very nice to blow $400K during a recession. I predict, well I am sure that NYC Opera’s benefactors will certainly be upset as well as think about supporting them this year and the next-If at all….Please read this crazy story below:

The New York City Opera paid $400,000 in salary and severance last year to a would-be general manager who never took full leadership of the organization, according toBloomberg.

The organization hired Gerard Mortier from the Paris Opera in February 2007 with the expectation that he would take up the New York post last September. While still serving on a part-time, interim basis, Mr. Mortier resigned in late 2008, saying budget cuts at City Opera would prevent him from fulfilling his plans for the company.

Along with $65,000 in salary, Mr. Mortier received a $335,000 “separation payment,” according to City Opera tax filings for the 2008-9 fiscal year, for which the organization reported a $19.9-million deficit. The opera’s departing executive director and artistic administrator received smaller severance payments after leaving during that year.

In other arts news, New York officials are pressing Lincoln Center to join other cultural organizations occupying city property in taking liability for accidents on its grounds, writes The New York Times.

Lincoln Center’s $1.2-billion renovation, which includes expanded public areas and a refurbished fountain that splashes water onto surrounding stonework, could increase the group’s exposure to accident claims. The organization is resisting the change, which by one estimate could cost it $1.4-million a year.

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