Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Shape of Things to Come: Met Cancels Balance of 2020-21 Season

Lincoln Center Fountain at night; a circular fountain with many small upward jets of water

Lincoln Center Plaza Fountain
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

Well, this doesn't look good: the Met just canceled what was left of the 2020-21 season, which is to say, everything from December 31 to whenever in the May the season was planned to end. Presumably, this leaves the chorus, orchestra, stagehands, costumers, makeup artists, set builders, and administrative staff already on furlough without income through at least then.

Here's Peter Gelb blathering:
“The future of the Met relies upon it being artistically as powerful as ever, if not more so,” Mr. Gelb said in an interview. “The artistic experiences have to be better than ever before to attract audiences back. Where we need to cut back is costs.”

Spend less money, improve the artistic experience? Good luck with that. I mean, it could happen, but probably not at the Met. Here's more:

Mr. Gelb said that the Met would offer to begin paying its work force again during this dark period if the unions agreed to leaner multiyear contracts. The disclosure earlier this week that James Levine, the company’s former music director, had received a $3.5 million settlement after the Met fired him in 2018, citing sexual misconduct, could complicate negotiations.

You don't say.

The article does include some information on the 2021-22 season, which has been announced in full. More on that later.

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