Breaking: Met announces new lockout deadline

Apparently the negotiations are making progress. Peter Gelb has announced there must be a deal by August 17, or he locks the place up and throws away the key. No change in his tune, then.

 

met seats

Musicians press release:

Met Opera Update: Despite Met Opera Management’s New Lockout Deadline of 8/17, Opera Musicians Eager to Continue to Negotiate in Good Faith

FMCS Announces Independent Analyst Report Nearing Completion

New York, NY–Monday, August 11, 2014The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), announced today that the report of the independent analyst brought in to review the Metropolitan Opera’s finances was nearing its completion. Negotiations between the Met and the musicians (Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians) and the chorus and other members of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) will resume later this week. Although the Met Management has announced a deadline for Sunday, August 17, after which, if there is no agreement, they will lock out the musicians, craftspeople and choristers, it is Local 802 and AGMA’s intention to continue to bargain in good faith until an agreement can be reached by both sides.

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  • On August 9, Joseph Horowitz published a very interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal: unions aren’t the Met’s only problem. The house is much too large for the 21st century. The era of ” grand opera ” is over. I second this opinion. It is time to gut the house, leaving its shell intact, and construct a modern smaller space within. Unfortunately I do not see anyone on the current Met Board or anyone else who would be up to the challenge to muster the support for such a profound overhaul. The Met as it is, and the house, are a relic that has lived out its time.

    • Rubbish — and entirely beside the point. The Met is an excellent facility in need only of front-of-house spruce-up after years of neglect. Yes it is large. So is the metropolis it serves!

      • Rubbish? I stand by Horowitz’ assessment. This huge crisis at the Met is the golden opportunity to make good use of it. Get rid of the oversized barn. By the way: try a trip across the country and attend a performance in Seattle. McCaw Hall is a space ideal for opera in the 21st century. Not only a great place for Wagner fans. You will experience a vibrant company the artistic excellence of which is world class, with splendid opening nights even without Netrebko or Kaufmann (who I do esteem as great artists).

    • Edgar, that you would cast your eye over the Met’s board of directors AND “anyone else” (flipping through your Rolodex?) and dismiss their abilities comes across as one of the less believable characters who post here on Slipped Disc.
      If you’re not fictional…well. My apologies.

      • Darling,I must disappoint you. I do not own a Rolodex. I always glance over the pages with the names of trustees, donors and donor entities whenever I am in an opera house, theater, or concert hall. And, yes, I am not at all sure whether there is any courage, let alone vision, to take strong steps towards a viable future among any one on the MET’s Board of Directors. But, of course, I would gladly stand corrected if you could name one, or even two, among them who is able to lead the urgently needed overhaul. Propping up the expenses for performances in a cavernous house with millions and millions each season is not a business plan that guarantees sustainability. The crisis is one long in the making, and I, for one, keep asking: why for heaven’s sake has no one on the Board reigned in Mr. Gelb and put an end to this most embarrassing charade by not renewing his contract? Is Jimmy Levine going to come to the rescue? It seems he has plenty of the board in his pocket. But, with all due respect, it is time for change in the pit. In fact, unless I am totally wrong, I have thus far not encountered any indication that the MET leadership is willing or able to confront the huge challenges for the organization’s future. Our time may very well be the time to say farewell to “grand opera”, MET style (except, perhaps, in Putinland). The exciting stuff happens elsewhere, e.g. Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, Dallas… to name only a few. Maybe New Yorkers would gain insight by traveling around the country a bit and discovering that opera is alive and well outside New York…? That is not to say that there are very promising new things happening in New York in the operatic field. “The Metropolitan Opera House”, writes Joseph Horowitz, “less than 50 years old, is already a relic” – to be in denial of this fact is to live in a fiction.

        • A wordy reply there, Edgar…
          What I was saying is how striking is your power to see into the hearts and potential of the whole list of board members. It’s the kind of omniscient quality that amateur novelists give their characters, and why you still strike me as possibly fictional.

  • Doesn’t matter, SDReader, though you may be right.
    Leading, as Edgar did, with a purported summary of a Horowitz article (which is behind a firewall, presenting difficulties in discussion), a suggestion to “gut the house”, a declaration of the inadequate will and wallets of the Met board and donors and run-on vague, unconnected ideas (“Levine coming to the rescue?” “Time for a change in the pit” “Farewell to grand opera” “Opera is alive and well outside N.Y.”) rings pretty hollow.
    If he’s real, his writing is muddled and hard to follow, wouldn’t you say?
    (Edgar, hope I didn’t hurt your feelings, imagined or otherwise. Won’t say anymore on the subject.)
    🙂

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