Metropolitan Opera reports $25M drop in operating revenue in pandemic-shortened fiscal 2020

Posted on: February 2, 2021

“The Metropolitan Opera’s operating revenue dropped by $25 million to $120 million in the fiscal year ending July 31, a season shortened due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the company avoided an operating loss through fundraising and borrowing,” writes Ronald Blum in Monday’s (2/1) Associated Press. “The Met said on Thursday, January 28, that it had a $130 million loss from operations—down from a $154 million loss during the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2019. Contributions and bequests … totaled $130 million…. The Met cut some administrative employees and stopped paying its union employees during the pandemic, though it continued health benefits for the orchestra and chorus. It has used nonunion musicians for its streamed concerts from Europe, angering the union of its orchestra…. The Met last month locked out its stagehands … because it has been unable to negotiate wage cuts during the pandemic.… Met General Manager Peter Gelb also wants to reopen contracts with Local 802 [representing orchestra musicians] and with the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents its singers and chorus, deals that expire in the summer of 2022…. The Met hopes to get federal aid … to help fund bridge payments to union employees until performances resume.” The Metropolitan Opera’s 2019-20 fiscal year ended on July 31.