Locked out stagehands protest outside Metropolitan Opera
Locked out stagehands of the Metropolitan Opera protested the company amid a crowd of about 1,000 that rallied outside Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, criticizing the company for constructing sets for three of next season’s new productions at nonunion shops.
James Levine, who ruled over Met Opera, dead at age 77
FILE - Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine conducts the symphony on its opening night performance at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. “No artist in the 137 year history of the Met had as profound an impact as James Levine,” Gelb said in a statement. In one instance, the Met accused Levine of inappropriately touching a musician starting in 1979 and six more times until 1991. The following February, he became principal conductor for the Met’s 1973-74 season, assisting music director Rafael Kubelik, and became music director with the 1976-77 season. Levine was downgraded to music director when he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2004.
Met Opera's revenue drops, breaks even with gifts, borrowing
The Metropolitan Operas operating revenue dropped by $25 million to $150 million in the fiscal year ending July 31, a season shortened due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the company avoided an operating loss with its fundraising and borrowing. The Met said Thursday that it had a $130 million loss from operations — down from a $154 million loss during the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2019. The fundraising figure after expenses was down from $153 million in the previous season, when the Met finished with a $1.1 million operating loss. Gelb said the Met is exploring the use of outside workers to start construction of sets for next season’s new productions. And from a practical point of view and the other union aspects, there’s no way we could have used Met musicians.”The Met hopes to get federal aid.
Shuttered Met Opera to lock out stagehands
NEW YORK – The shuttered Metropolitan Opera said it will lock out its stagehands in Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees at midnight on Monday because it has been unable to negotiate wage cuts during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Gelb estimated the Met has lost $154 million in revenue due to the pandemic. The Met stopped performances March 12 because of the pandemic and ended pay for Local One about two weeks later. Gelb hopes to reopen contracts with Local 802 of American Federation of Musicians, which represents the orchestra, and the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the chorus. The deals with those unions expire next summer and the Met has had preliminary meetings with 802.
Met Opera skips this season, 1st Black composer opens '21-22
Met General Manager Peter Gelb said additional losses projected at $54 million raise the total for the company to $154 million since the pandemic started. “The earliest we thought we could schedule it was in the 23-24 season,” Gelb said. “Hamlet” stars Allan Clayton, Brenda Rae and Rod Gilfry in a Neil Armfield staging that opens May 13, 2022. Bart Sher’s staging of Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” which opened in Berlin in June 2019, starts Dec. 31, 2021, with Quinn Kelsey. A Simon Stone staging of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” begins April 23, 2022, with Nadine Sierra and Javier Camarena.
Met Opera cuts season by 3 1/2 months, to shorten some shows
NEW YORK The Metropolitan Opera season is getting shorter, along with some of its shows. Social distancing and grand opera do not mix, Met general manager Peter Gelb said. The pandemic caused the Met to stop its season on March 12, forcing cancellation of the final 58 of 217 originally scheduled performances. There are 130 staged performances of 15 operas in the new schedule, down from the 218 performances of 23 operas that had been announced. This will be the fewest Met staged productions since a low of 14 in the lockout-delayed 1980-81 season, when there were 112 staged performances.
Nzet-Sguin got $392,152 in initial part of 1st Met season
NEW YORK Yannick Nzet-Sguins earned $392,152 during his first portion of his first season as the Metropolitan Opera's music director, about a quarter of what James Levine earned in his last full season as music director emeritus. Levine was music or artistic director from 1976-2016, then became music director emeritus after the 2016-17 season. Nzet-Sguin started as music director in 2018-19, two years ahead of schedule, and conducted three operas. His full-time duties as music director dont begin until next season, Met general manager Peter Gelb said. Nzet-Sguin earned $1,380,667 from the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he also is music director, in the return for the year ending Aug. 31, 2018.
Tenor moves out of Anna Netrebko's shadow
“When I would perform, people would listen and say, 'OK, let's see, is he really good or does he have the job because he's the husband of Anna Netrebko.' He's singing because he's himself. He is onstage almost throughout the entire opera, singing a melodic line that is centered in the middle and lower register of the voice but jumps repeatedly to full-throttle high notes. “It's a very huge role, it's endless work,” said Eyvazov, who had sung the part once before at Moscow's Bolshoi Opera. In particular, Tristan in “Tristan und Isolde” — considered one of the most difficult of all tenor roles.