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Metropolitan Opera cutting salaries, cancelling shows

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Just as it was riding high in the opera world, the Metropolitan Opera has been bludgeoned by the recession and now faces a “disaster scenario” unless the company finds major cost cuts, including concessions from its powerful unions, the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, said on Thursday.

Its once-mighty endowment of more than $300 million has dropped by a third, to a point where it cannot be drawn from; donations are down by $10 million this season; and ticket sales are expected to be off by several million dollars from what was expected, Mr. Gelb said in an interview.

Mr. Gelb said that he and senior staff members have taken a 10 percent pay cut and that the rest of the staff would do so at the end of the fiscal year, which concludes after the season. He said at least four expensive productions have been canceled or replaced next season as well. [NY Times]

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