David Koch is funding a renovation of New York City Opera’s home, and that’s enough. His $100 million donation will transform the New York State Theater—home to City Opera and New York City Ballet—into the David H. Koch Theater, and he feels bad about the opera’s financial and administrative mess. But he isn’t planning to bail it out. “I hope they can deal with this situation successfully, but I think what I have done for the theater is plenty,” the billionaire (whom Forbes ranks the second-richest New Yorker, after Mayor Bloomberg) said at the opening-night gala for the ballet on November 25. It was the company’s first performance in its still-under-construction theater. “They have a wonderful board,” he said. “I’ll help them in other ways.” Earlier in the evening, Koch was toasted with a vodka shot in front of the full theater by City Ballet chief Peter Martins. “If these were better times, I would have invited the whole audience to have vodka,” Martins said. “But let’s just keep it between you and I.”
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