Metropolitan Opera Cancels Remainder of Season, Furloughs Union Employees

Classic Arts News   Metropolitan Opera Cancels Remainder of Season, Furloughs Union Employees
 
Higher paid employees will take pay reductions as the New York City institution closes its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Metropolitan Opera House Jonathan Tichler

The Metropolitan Opera has canceled the remainder of its 2019–2020 season, having initially intended to close only through March 31 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Full-time union employees, including members of the Met Orchestra and Chorus, will be paid through the end of the month, while General Manager Peter Gelb will waive his salary and higher paid administrative staff members take pay reductions (ranging from 10 to 50 percent, The New York Times reports). All will keep medical benefits throughout the health crisis.

An emergency fundraising drive is being developed, hoping to lessen the blow caused by the opera house—and movie theatres around the world hosting Live in HD transmissions—going dark. “The money we raise will help ensure that the Met will return, so that our artists and company members will once again be able to perform in our house,” Gelb said.

Earlier this week, the Met began a daily free stream of filmed performances from its Live in HD catalog as a social distance-approved offering, with a new title available on the Met's website and On Demand app at 7:30 PM every night during the shutdown. The rest of the week will feature La Traviata, La Fille du Régiment, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Eugene Onegin; an all-Wagner lineup will begin March 23 (among the Met's productions impacted by the closure is its new staging of Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer).

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