15. January 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Links

So this article says. Yikes.

Just as it was riding high in the opera world, the Metropolitan Opera has been bludgeoned by the recession and now faces a “disaster scenario” unless the company finds major cost cuts, including concessions from its powerful unions, the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, said on Thursday.

Its once-mighty endowment of more than $300 million has dropped by a third, to a point where it cannot be drawn from; donations are down by $10 million this season; and ticket sales are expected to be off by several million dollars from what was expected, Mr. Gelb said in an interview.

Mr. Gelb said that he and senior staff members have taken a 10 percent pay cut and that the rest of the staff would do so at the end of the fiscal year, which concludes after the season. He said at least four expensive productions have been canceled or replaced next season as well.

The article goes on to talk a bit about New York City Opera and its woes as well.

We are in rough times, and it appears it’s going to continue for a while.


  1. There are sixteen unions representing various Met employees! Sixteen! That’s astonishing to me.

    I wonder how much their chorus members make. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it’s a pretty decent wage (knowing approximately what the SF Opera chorus earns, I have to assume the Met pays at least as well). A 10% cut may be a hard idea to swallow, but if it means saving the company it seems like it might be a good idea. Surely the concessions could be temporary, until the economy recovers and the Met is back on its feet.

    Now if OSJ suggested I take a pay cut, I’d balk. 🙂 We already earn so little. Good thing I don’t do it for the money…

  2. Yeah, I’m guessing they do quite well in the Met. I’m not sure concessions are ever really temporary, but who knows?

    And yeah, I know you don’t do it for the money. YOU do it for the glory. 😉

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