Met cancels rest of season, launches emergency fund-raising drive

Thu Mar 19, 2020 at 12:45 pm

The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled the rest of its 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The company previously paused performances through March 31. That has now been extended to include all performances through May 9, as well as all scheduled Live in HD broadcasts in movie theaters.

“As devastating as it is to have to close the Met, this was the rare instance where the show simply couldn’t go on,” general manager Peter Gelb said in a statement released Thursday morning. “We send our thanks to our loyal audiences and we’re doing our best to support our employees during this extraordinarily difficult time. We look forward to being reunited in the fall with a new season.”

The Met’s full-time union employees will be paid through March 31, with health care coverage continuing throughout the crisis. Higher-paid members of the company’s administrative staff are taking reductions in their pay, and Gelb has waived his salary entirely.

The company also announced an emergency fundraising drive to deal with the massive loss of box office revenue caused by cancelled house performances and Live in HD transmissions.

The Met is offering free nightly streaming presentations from its Live in HD archive on the company website and its various platforms. “Next week’s schedule of transmissions is all Wagner, with fitting themes of destruction and redemption,”  noted Gelb. metopera.org/updates; 212-362-6000.  


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