The Metropolitan Opera cancels all fall performances
NYC's Metropolitan Opera has canceled all fall performances due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The news came via General Manager Peter Gelb, who in a video said, "Social distancing and the grand opera just don't go together," adding, "Our doctors, our medical advisors agree that as long as social distancing is required, we cannot put on performances here and clearly that is the state of affairs for the fall. No performances also means that the greatest singers in the world will not be on our stage."
The Met is currently hoping to re-open its doors on December 31, 2020, with a special gala performance, details still TBA.
There are also some changes to productions and schedule for early 2021:
Because of the lack of time available for technical preparations, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni will be performed in revivals of the Julie Taymor and Michael Grandage productions, respectively, rather than the previously announced new stagings by Simon McBurney and Ivo van Hove. These new productions, as well as the previously scheduled fall new stagings of Verdi’s Aida and Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, will be rescheduled for later seasons. Van Hove’s Met-premiere production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, conducted by Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, remains on the schedule as planned. Maestro Nézet-Séguin will conduct a total of 26 performances over the course of the revamped season, including performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
In February, when the house was previously scheduled to be dark, there will instead be additional performances of Puccini’s La Bohème, Bizet’s Carmen, and Verdi’s La Traviata. Soprano Angel Blue and tenor Joseph Calleja will lead the cast in La Bohème; mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan will sing the title role of Carmen, with tenors Roberto Alagna and Russell Thomas as Don José and soprano Susanna Phillips as Micaela; and tenors Dmytro Popov and Stephen Costello will share the role of Alfredo in La Traviata. For scheduling reasons, the revival of Berg’s Lulu, originally planned to open March 5, has been canceled, and will be replaced by additional performances of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, featuring soprano Brenda Rae, who is switching from the title role of Lulu to her Met role debut as Rosina, with bass-baritone Adam Plachetka as Figaro. Tickets to these newly added February performances will go on sale to the general public on Monday, June 22, and further casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Met also notes that "in anticipation of changing audience expectations, the Met has moved up its evening curtain times to 7 p.m. whenever possible." You can read more here.
The Metropolitan Opera has also set up an emergency relief fund to help their artists and employees make ends meet while the Met is closed.