Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra are about to issue a further challenge to claims by the manager, Peter Gelb, that high labour costs have brought the Met to a point of economic crisis. The musicians argue that the crisis was caused by Gelb’s poor financial management.
They could hardly believe their eyes when Gelb admitted the charge in a rambling rebuttal to the musicians’ 84-page case for making $31 million savings without having to suffer wage cuts.
On this page, Gelb admits that he got his financial forecasts badly wrong.
If the print is too small for your eyes, here’s the nub of it:
Gelb put in place ‘a conscious and successful business strategy that emphasized growth in revenues.
‘Earned revenues grew through FY11 and contributions grew through FY12.
‘It is because that revenue growth has ceased that we are here today.’
In plain English: Gelb imagined the money would keep rolling in. It didn’t – in part, because people stayed away from his shows and, in part, because wealthy persons refused to support what they saw as a failing enterprise. The Met’s problems are rooted in Gelb’s overspend.
The cause of the crisis is, therefore, Peter Gelb. He needs to be locked out.