Metropolitan Opera cancels fall 2020 season; postpones opening to December 31

Posted on: June 3, 2020

“The Metropolitan Opera said on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic would force the company to cancel its fall season,” writes Michael Cooper in Monday’s (6/1) New York Times. “The announcement by the Met, the nation’s largest performing arts organization, is sure to be watched closely by other presenters who are trying to gauge when it might be safe to invite audiences back … The company … now hopes to return with a gala on New Year’s Eve…. It is a gap that is projected to cost the company close to $100 million in lost revenues…. Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said, ‘It’s not just the audience; it’s the health of the company. You cannot put a symphony orchestra inside a pit, and performers and a chorus in intimate proximity on the stage.’ … Members of its world-renowned orchestra and chorus … have not been paid since March…. Most have gone on unemployment…. All were hoping to be back at work by the time the additional $600-a-week unemployment benefit that Congress approved … is set to expire, at the end of July…. Mr. Gelb said that… if the Met is to survive, ‘It’s really going to ultimately require an economic reset of the Met,’ he said.”