The long, tangled court battle between two groups seeking to revive the bankrupt New York City Opera came to an end on Wednesday afternoon when one group withdrew its proposal and cleared the way for its rival to try to bring back the beloved opera company.
Gene Kaufman, an architect and one of the suitors who has been vying to reorganize and take control of City Opera, withdrew as part of a negotiated settlement that calls for granting his group $300,000, according to a court filing. The move made it almost certain that the next chapter in the company’s history would be written by NYCO Renaissance, a group backed by Roy G. Niederhoffer, an investment manager who served on the old City Opera board. It plans to make Michael Capasso — whose small company, Dicapo Opera Theater, foundered — the general director of the new City Opera.
While NYCO Renaissance’s proposal must still be approved by creditors in the bankruptcy case, who will be mailed ballots, and by a judge, it is now the only plan under consideration. That raises the strong possibility that by Jan. 20, when the group plans to mount Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, it will be able to use the City Opera name.
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