Met Opera’s mixed box-office data, amid decline in ticket sales and increasing costs

Posted on: July 2, 2014

In Tuesday’s (7/1) Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Maloney analyzes box-office data at the Metropolitan Opera, a topic that has been publicly debated by Met management and musicians during current labor negotiations. “New productions spearheaded by the Met’s general manager Peter Gelb have had mixed success,” writes Maloney. “While they generally sell better than revivals, some performed poorly when brought back to the stage a season or two later…. On its return in the 2012-13 season Siegfried, the third installment of the [$19.6 million Ring cycle] earned just 48% of the potential box-office take. The box-office data illustrate the Met’s struggle to maximize revenue as its costs increased and audience declined.… No one factor makes or breaks an opera: Even a big name like Plácido Domingo doesn’t guarantee a hit.… Attendance in the opera house increased during the first two seasons of [Gelb’s] tenure, then fell, beginning in 2009.… The Met’s new production of ‘Eugene Onegin’ … filled, on average, 93% of the house. The best seller this season was the family-friendly version of ‘The Magic Flute,’ a 2004 production by Julie Taymor [designed to appeal to] young audiences.”

Posted July 2, 2014