Cher Public

The Met: Can it be saved?

Short answer: yes. But let’s begin by dismissing a blatant canard. One thing that the Metropolitan Opera does not need to do is to scale back the number of performances in a season.

The greater New York Metropolitan area has 20 million people. 54.3 million tourists visited New York City in 2013. Many millions of people attend theater performances in New York City each year. Those numbers suggest to me that with an astute artistic approach, enhancements to the experience of attending the Met, outreach, marketing, ticket pricing, and a more sensible budget, the Metropolitan Opera should be able to thrive while producing 200 or more performances per season.

So what, specifically, will bring an audience to the Met for all those performances? Read more »

The Met: what’s really wrong?

The 2012-13 season at the Metropolitan Opera was a financial disaster, with the company taking in only 69% of potential total box office revenue—a troubling 13 percent decline from the previous season and the lowest box office percentage in over a decade. Thanks to discounting, the Met did manage to sell 79% of total seats but that, too, was another low.   Read more »

Pitch problem

How the quest for a lowered diapason ended with Renata Tebaldi serving as unwitting spokesperson for a libertarian cult. [Longform Reprints]