Metropolitan Opera furloughs administrative staff, cuts other positions to part-time

Posted on: May 6, 2020

“The Metropolitan Opera has already lost around $60 million because of the coronavirus and stopped paying its orchestra, chorus and stagehands at the end of March,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Tuesday’s (5/5) New York Times. “Yet despite some positive news—emergency fund-raising in the tens of millions; 10,000 new donors; its sizable virtual audience—its financial outlook remains grim. The prospect of large gatherings in New York is still far off and the planned opening of the Met’s season in September is in serious question. On Tuesday, the company … said it would furlough 41 members of its administrative staff, a step it had previously said would not be necessary…. In addition … 11 others will be cut to part-time hours, out of an administration of 237 people. Those furloughed will receive two weeks of pay and, like the unionized orchestra, chorus and stagehands, will retain their health benefits. The affected employees are spread across the company’s departments.” Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said in an interview, “The magnitude of the long-term damage—the immediate and long-term effects of the health crisis on the performing arts—seem graver and more challenging than they appeared a month ago.”