The Metropolitan Opera will take a page from Broadway, adding Sunday matinees to its performance schedule. The change will go into effect beginning in the 2019–2020 season. The following season, the schedule will undergo another revamp: a midwinter break in February. To compensate, performances will run into mid-June (the seasons currently end in mid-May).
The revisions to the schedule address a growing concern over dwindling capacity and revenue potentials over the years. Traditionally, the Met’s matinees see a higher attendance, but have only been offered on Saturdays. The cold weeks of February also attract fewer numbers (as seen on Broadway as well).
The announcement follows an agreement reached between the Met’s management and two of its union group—the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 (representing the orchestra, music staff, and librarians), and the American Guild of Musical Artists (representing stage staff and performers)—which also included a three percent wage increase.
“Sunday matinees and the future realignment of the season will ensure the ongoing success of the Met,” said General Manager Peter Gelb in a statement. “We’re grateful to our company members for recognizing and accepting these important changes.”
The Met’s 2018–2019 season opens September 24 with a new production of Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak.