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Only connect…

Independent auditor chosen by the Met, AGMA and Local 802 to report on the company’s finances, Eugene Keilin, is a “generous” donor to the Met, giving at least $25,000 in 2011-2012 according to that season’s Annual Report. (See page 42.)

Mr. Keilin’s munificence continued (to the tune of another $25,000) this past season, according to the season book which is not yet available online. The Met’s press office confirms, “As stated in the Met’s annual report, Mr. Keilin is a generous donor. The negotiating committees of the musicians and chorus are well aware of that.”


  • liza says:

    I’ve served as legal counsel for boards but I’m not from NY. I’m wondering if there is an atty who can address the prudence standard under NYPMIFA?

  • Signor Bruschino says:

    Regarding the bond offering, back in 2012 I recall that they were using the $100,000,000 for renovations. Have any renovations started, backstage or otherwise, (and not asking rhetorically!)… Seems strange to get that much of an additional influx of capital and not see some action.

    • operaobserver says:

      I think of that $100,000,000 some $63,000,000 goes to retire old debt. I. Seem to remember that one of the Chagall murals was being used for collateral for $50,000,000. I wonder if that was ever cleared up. I also wonder if some of the capital projects to update the stage and lighting would affect the number of crew needed to put on a performance. I was under the impression this work was to begin this summer.

  • tpogto says:

    The scenery batten drives require repacement, but nothing has been done while all the eye-catching P.G.’s propaganda went on. Remember the fire curtain got stuck one evening that delayed the curtain 45 minutes or so. Listed in th current MET OPERA Program are” 6x assistant general managers,Ioan Hoelender and Eva Wagner as “advisor/consultant” are still listed. Also “production” department(used to be called “technical”)now lists 1x lighting designer in chief, 3x his assistants, 3x project managers (in charge of rented productions?)and so on. No talks of these new administrative hires

    • operaobserver says:

      No doubt administration bloat is as worthy a topic as work rule changes. This reminds me of the issues plaguing higher education. Retiring debt to save on interest or extend cash flow is good, and replacing inefficient technology is good, but if you have to hire more managers to run it or experts to consult on it you loose some of the advantages. If these changes are mostly for HD I fear they won’t be the kind of return they want. They have to find a way to do things for less, not just productions but overall.

  • redbear says:

    Then there’s the Met’s onward and upward march. With the profound economic crisis of 2008, donor-dependent organizations seemed to make corrections and pull back. Los Angeles Opera cut its budget by one-third, for example. Yet, the Met continued to climb as if nothing had happened. It seems to be a case of defying gravity.

  • liza says:

    The law on endowments has reflected the downturn, and in some respects is more flexible. NY has its own unique aspects but the 7% rule is a pretty good example of a legal standard. If an org is taking more than 7% from a fund there is a rebuttal presumption of imprudence. Meaning the org has the burden of proof to make an evidentiary showing that they are not acting in an imprudent way. Nor are unlimited funds ‘available’ without notification and permission. This is just an example of how a legal standard operates to protect an endowment from a spend down and/or mismanagement. What I can’t understand about this board is how they can propose that doubling the endowment is somehow feasible without saying, therefore, of course they initiated a campaign two years ago. Instead, doing their job is conditioned on labor concessions.While they maybe trying to prove that they are indeed seeking an alternative to a spend down, their statements create a cognitive dissonance for me and raise a red flag.