The New York City Opera, which is on the verge of completely shutting down due to lack of funding, is making a last-ditch effort to keep itself alive by reaching out to high-profile donors and even launching its own Kickstarter. It's also possibly reaching out to a very prominent crook.

While giving to the opera might not be everyone's cup of tea, perhaps a gallant philanthropist will swoop in and save the historic institution. For its own safety however, the Opera should probably not seek a donation from famous opera scam artist Alberto Vilar.

A keen-eyed reader pointed out to Gawker that during an interview with General Manager George Steel for a local news report on the financial troubles of the Opera (see video above), Vilar's name can clearly be seen alongside other high-profile philanthropists like Alex Goren and Anne McNulty.

Vilar established himself as possibly the most generous patron of opera ever, pledging more than $250 million to various institutions. He was convicted of money laundering and securities fraud in 2008, and never fulfilled millions in pledges he had made.

He was released in October of last year and has returned to philanthropy. Apparently, the moribund New York City Opera is desperate enough to put him on the short list.