What's the full financial situation at the Met?

What's the full financial situation at the Met?


norman lebrecht

October 11, 2011

The Metropolitan Opera’s press department, also known as the New York Times, has filed a report saying the company has enjoyed a record year in fundraising – all the more remarkable an achievement in the depths of recession. The Times calls it ‘astonishing’, ‘whopping’ and ‘bonanza’ – excessive even in press release language.

Whatever, hats off to the development director, Coralie Toevs, who has reeled in the big fishes.

However, my mole in the finance department tells me that the running costs are far higher than previously revealed, with Peter Gelb’s movie spend running up eye-watering bills. Others in the building have been muttering similar things. I am trying to lay hands on hard budgets.

My guess is that Gelb will soon bring out a fully audited set of figures whose red lines will look a lot softer now the donations look so healthy.


  • Bob Thomas says:

    The audited figures will, indeed, tell a fuller tale but Daniel J. Wakin’s article did talk at some length about the higher operating budget with reasons given for its substantial increases. To my mind, the most interesting point in the article was that the HD telecasts do, indeed, seem to have affected attendance at the Met itself but Gelb pointed out in the article that at least some of the giving increase has come about because of the telecasts.