Exclusive: At least one director is named in Gelb’s Met massacre

September 28, 2017 by norman lebrecht


Among the 50 staff who were fired yesterday at the Metropolitan Opera was, we hear, Gary Feinstein, Director Subscriptions & Special Services.

That’s a big cheese.

Gary, a Met lifer, pays the price for Gelb’s dwindling box office. He has worked at the Met since September 1977 and knows everyone – especially the subscribers. This will not play well in Poughkeepsie.


That’s him on the right. More honourable discharges here.



Comments (18)

  1. Sanda Schuldmann says:

    WHy doesn’t someone get rid of Gelb.He is the problem, just like Trump. You can fire everyone, but when the man at the top is incompetent little else matters. So unfortunate!

    1. La Verita says:

      Sandra, as is generally known, competence has never been a principal requirement for executives in the music business.

      1. Sanda Schuldmann says:

        SO true and sad. Might be one explanation why the business is in such terrible shape. Idiots in charge from the President on down!

  2. Boris Sanchez says:

    Norman is quite right that this won’t play well.. Gary is the type of person that dealt with long time subscribers and dealt with classy celebrities- just ask Judith Light who she deals and you will get only one name, Gary.

    The fact that this happened the day after opening night is even more disgusting.

    But look at the seats available for basically any show in October. Something is seriously wrong at the Met. Please Norman, keep digging.

    1. norman lebrecht says:

      Will do. Please keep sharing on social media. I don’t yet have the promotion budget of the NY Times.

      1. laurie says:

        shameful way to reward loyalty and dedication.

        and note that many of the tickets they do sell are sold through discount websites – one example but there are many with huge discounts

      2. Boris Sanchez says:

        Saturday matinees for any show should be a ‘good seller’. Back in the 1990s, it was hard to even get a subscription to the Saturday matinee series at the Met, they were in such demand.

        Look at this Saturday’s performance of Hoffmann. The orchestra is EMPTY! A Saturday matinee selling this few tickets the first week of the season is truly remarkable:

        The Met is not facing a disaster- they are in the midst of one right now

        1. Una says:

          Back in the 90s there were no cinema showings or online showings …

        2. Kevin says:

          Saturday is Yom Kippur, it is understandable that the afternoon performance is empty. Notice that there is no performance scheduled for Friday night…probably for that same reason.

    2. Patrick says:

      Quite right re: Gary Feinstein….a real gent and deeply competent with valuable institutional knowledge. There will be blowback & blood!

  3. Urania says:

    As a show opera is not flashy enough, never was. Opera has to go back to the roots – same goes for classical music. Public does not know that classical music is not show business and does get discouraged. The old connections do not work anymore…..things might go down even more before people will understand….goes for many more facets of nowadays world. If one does want to promote opera by putting Katharina Wagner in the team….what an error! (This is not the case for the MET, but many do like to work with this kind of headlines)

  4. Save the Met says:

    An abject moron is running an operation that’s on the precipice that he’s helped to create. He spends his Summers globe trotting around to the European festivals travelling like Little Lord Fauntleroy on the company’s dime. His productions have been from hunger destroying the spectacle that used to bring in the customers. They walked and now the house rate fill averages in the 50-60 percent range. The Board for decades has subsidized the house and obviously they are falling short and need new members with deep pockets. They keep him on at their own peril.

  5. Mark Henriksen says:

    Do you know he was fired and not given the golden handshake? He had been at the MET for 40 years. Assuming he had a minimum education, a bachelor’s degree, and no other job before starting at the MET, he would be 62 years old. Pretty close to retirement age, normally. Organizations facing budget shortfalls reduce staff through attrition and hiring freezes, and layoffs, if necessary. What is the MET doing that is so outrageous?

      1. Olassus says:

        That speaks volumes.

  6. Ungeheuer says:

    Bears repeating: The situation is far worse than acknowledged, what with the disappearance of stars, vocal stars at that, of important voices and artists. The elephant in the room. Of course, the burden of the collapse of important artists and voices does not rest on Gelb’s shoulders. Little to nothing the man (or any other intendant) can do to quell the epidemic.

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