Vintage New York City Opera Costumes For Sale


Still in the market for a Halloween costume? You could go as a ghost of New York City Opera’s past.

In an effort to cut costs back in January, City Opera put 90 percent of its New Jersey warehouse–sets, props and costumes that had been stockpiled for decades–up for sale in an online auction. Artistic Director George Steel told the New York Times the warehouse cost the opera $500,000 a year to rent.

Noho thrift store Screaming Mimi’s snapped up several of the opera company’s costumes, a representative from the store said, and has rolled them out this month for Halloween.

See also: New York City Opera to Sell Thrift Shop, Move Archives to Columbia

The costs cut and proceeds raised from the auction, of course, were not enough to keep City Opera from declaring bankruptcy earlier this month. As part of the bankruptcy, City Opera is putting its own thrift shop–not just the inventory, the entire shop–up for sale. The opera company’s lawyers said in court papers filed earlier this month they hope that another nonprofit arts organization steps up to purchase the thrift store.


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013

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