Breaking: The Met shuts Semiramide rehearsal

Breaking: The Met shuts Semiramide rehearsal


norman lebrecht

February 15, 2018

We hear from two sources that the dress rehearsal of Semiramide has been closed to the public, without explanation.

Ticket holders will be reimbursed.

It is widely assumed that the decision was taken due to persistent tensions in the chorus over Peter Gelb’s decision to fire the director John Copley for a misguided remark. The reminder of the rehearsals have been taken by assistants.

The timing of the closure could not be worse.

The Met is due to announce its new season today.



  • Angela Cockburn says:

    Wouldn’t they have done better to use it as a dummy run for FOH staff to gauge what type of security might be needed?

  • me! says:

    If the chorus can’t professionally do their job, those members need to be sacked. This is otherwise sounding terribly juvenile and unprofessional – the chorus members do not pick the directors, they can just complain and report if a director behaves improperly; ganging up on those reporting incidents honestly to the point of interrupting rehearsals and souring the atmosphere is WRONG and they need to be told that if too out of it to see.

  • Jessica says:

    Eh? Do they sell tickets for the dress rehearsal?

  • Sam says:

    “Ticket holders will be reimbursed.”

    Question: If artists are not paid for dress rehearsals, and dress rehearsals are by definition not performances, why are opera houses charging entry? Have I misunderstood something? I have experienced this before, and always found it exploitative. They always feel like “stealth” performances. I’m all for a full house during dress rehearsals, but they should be freebies for donors, friends, and – above all – student groups, and billed strictly as rehearsals.

    • me! says:

      historically, and as far as I know still, the met does NOT charge for dress rehearsals at all – the most I can think for this to make sense is that “reimbursement” means giving donors, etc. an alternate dress rehearsal to replace this one they were to go to

    • Michael says:

      What makes you think artists are not paid for dress rehearsals?

  • Sharon Beth Long says:

    Frequently admission to a dress rehearsal is a free benefit for “members” i.e. donors.
    For a while the NY Phil charged $4.00 for a ticket to their Tuesday full program rehearsal of their Friday night performance during their season. There is a certain expense in inviting people for dress rehearsals, such as ushers, security, cleaning electricity and so forth and there is nothing wrong with trying to cover expenses, in my opinion. Cheapie dress rehearsal tickets can be a “Phil the House” technique to introduce people to classical music who are uncertain they want to pay full price for a ticket (like Opera in HD). However, the Tuesday morning rehearsal was inconvenient for workers but a great learning tool for students, both music students and general students.

    • Sam says:

      Totally agree that a nominal fee to cover extra costs is fine. And I, too, feel any dress rehearsal to an empty hall or theater is a chance wasted to introduce music to kids and the uninitiated. Many singers like to get the acoustic impression of a full all, too, to avoid first night surprises.

  • lebinh says:

    “Doesnot a singer like Jonas Kaufmann (not only he) know his Cavaradossi in and out and needs only short rehearsal for staging? Does it ever occur to you that JK is NOT the only person on the stage, and rehearsals are not organized just for his sake for all the artists, the orchestra, the chorus, the technical departments, etc. “‘It was not a cancellation from my side. I asked for a reduced rehearsal period and fewer performances. But they wanted all or nothing,’ Well, wasn”t all this detailed a long time ago in contracts he signed and agreed to ??? This is a totally lame excuse. And the MET should be commanded for not putting up with this kind of behavior and contempt.