It's a tentative reopening so far -- 3 widely separated events in different venues (nothing in the State Theater), the third coming up in June. One wishes them well, of course.
Sills did indeed do her Donizetti queens at NY City Opera. I took the bus up from DC (in my army days) to see a Roberto Devereaux, and that without having a ticket for that sold-out production. (I was able to get a resold one in the plaza beforehand, as I planned to.) Her tenor was a young Placido Domingo, returning to the company that had established his name in New York.
Domingo was a rarity in those days in moving from NYCO to the Met; most of the former company's singers were given a cold shoulder by Rudolf Bing, as less than "international" artists. Sills eventually did make the move, but rather late, and it was treated as an "event" when she did, with a special revival of an obscure Rossini opera that she had done at La Scala. After that, she did only four more roles with the company: Lucia, Violetta, Thais, and Norina in Don Pasquale. 68 performances (some on tour) in 1978 and 1979.