Met Opera Will Reopen New Year’s Eve After Cancelling Fall Season

By Kurt Stolz on 2 June 2020
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The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center

The Metropolitan Opera announced Monday it would be cancelling its fall season amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The company had hoped to restart performances by Labor Day but it now plans to reopen with a New Year’s Eve gala.  The Met held a special online fund-raising event, dubbing it an “At-Home Gala,” in April as a fund-raiser, in which over 40 opera stars from 15 countries performed live from their living rooms or kitchens.

Multiple members of the company have contracted the coronavirus and two died from it, Vincent Lionti, a violist in the orchestra, and Joel Revzen, an assistant conductor.

The challenges of staging opera, concerts, and plays amidst the coronavirus have yet to be overcome, according to Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager.

“It’s transparently obvious that social distancing and grand opera cannot go together,” he said in an interview with the New York Times, adding that it’s not just the health of the audience, “it’s the health of the company.”  Issues from reduced seating to how to safely get opera goers in and out of the theater remain open issues, he said.

The abbreviated 2020-2021 season will open on January 2 with a performance of “La Bohème,” followed by “Die Zauberflöte” on January 4.  In February, when the opera house is typically dark, performances will include “Carmen” and “La Traviata.”

Since the Met went dark on March 12, it has made a free performance available online every night from its Met Opera On Demand library.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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