Opera lover bequeaths Met $7.5 million

Posted on: November 11, 2009

In Wednesday’s (11/11) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “Mona Webster, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter who lived in Edinburgh and died in August at 96, had a love of birds, and warblers in particular—of the human kind. She demonstrated that affection by leaving most of her fortune to the Metropolitan Opera and a nature charity in Britain. English and Scottish newspapers said Ms. Webster had bequeathed the Met $7.5 million. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust received a similar amount. While the Met confirmed on Tuesday that Ms. Webster had long promised a big gift on her death, it said it was still waiting to find out the exact amount. Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said Ms. Webster had fallen in love with the Met through its Saturday radio broadcasts. She was last at the house for a performance on opening night in 2000. … Ms. Webster had attended the Met frequently before 2000, but usually came as part of an opera tour group and thus did not come onto the Met’s radar until 2000, when she made a large gift and was invited to opening night.”

Posted November 11, 2009