The Met’s season in numbers: Ticket sales down 17.5%, Cinemas down 10.5%

Crain’s New York Business has been doing the crunching – and Peter Gelb’s bones can be heard between its teeth. Read here.

Wagners Das Rheingold Metropolitan Opera 2010


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  • “Gelb’s lavish productions”??? Clearly the person who made that comment didn’t see Gelb’s “Tosca” or “Nixon in China” — 2 very dreary, minimalistic affairs. However, these 2 productions showcased a Gelb “innovation”, i.e., the introduction of oral sex onto the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Now, WHO needed that???

  • This time I regret the headline is indeed misleading. The article states the following: “. . . attendance at the Lincoln Center opera house fell 17.5% in the five years ended in July 2013, while box-office receipts were down 4%, to $89.3 million, in the same period.”

    So the numbers refer to a 5-year period, not one season. Yet the figures are certainly gloomy, the more so when numbers should have been rising after the financial recession. It’s more proof, if such were needed, that Gelb’s new production turkeys and his massive overspending are now coming home to roost. No doubt we will hear more from him about the coming “abyss” as the Union negotiation deadline nears. When will the Board finally realise that it is an abyss largely of its own making?

    • If you had been reading other threads on, you would have noticed comments about other disputed headlines where I agreed with those inserted by NL. However, irrespective of my comments on the Met’s oft-stated mismanagement under Peter Gelb, it is definitely misleading to suggest that the drop in sales for one season was 17.5%. That is very different from a drop spread over five seasons – or perhaps you do not agree?

  • “Some union officials say the Met should at least stop movie-theater performances in the city, claiming they don’t grow the company’s audience but simply shift them to a venue with less-expensive tickets.”

    In other words, screw the audience. Or at least, screw New Yorkers. We don’t care about them, we don’t care about keeping opera affordable, we don’t care what people have to pay, just as long as we get our hoard.
    The headline should actually read, “Union to City: Drop Dead”.

    • Apparently you don’t know much about the Metropolitan Opera, as they offer rush tickets for $25 to see the performance live. So your arguement falls flat. They have in fact cannibalized their ticket sales in the house running the HD performamces in New York City, as well as Northern New Jersey, Eastern Connecticut, the Philadelphia area and Boston. Your statement is very hollow.

  • I’m sure you know a lot about the Met, so you should easily be able to answer this question: Does the company offer a commensurate number of $25 tickets to the number of HD goers in the tri-state area, plus Philadelphia and Boston? If not, then your argument, well, falls flat.
    Thanks for clearing that up.

    • Not really, they just have to fill the house and that’s the purpose of the program. The problem is, they are not filling the house and offering HD to the public in areas where traditionally people came to the Metropolitan Opera. So they end up screwing themselves, not the public.

      • If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the goal of the Met is to fill the house and the $25 program is a tool by which to do so. Further, that the local HD showings keep would-be customers from using the $25 program. If that is the case, and setting aside the fact that HD tickets are roughly in the range of $25 themselves, are there enough of these $25 seats in the house to accommodate all the people who go to NY area cinemas to watch the HD? I find that highly dubious, but, again, I wouldn’t know these numbers. Perhaps you do. If there are not, then I stand by what I said: if there were a regional blackout the people of the NY area would be getting screwed.

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