Met still has plenty seats available for Jonas Kaufmann’s hyped return

Met still has plenty seats available for Jonas Kaufmann’s hyped return


norman lebrecht

October 17, 2018

There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of seats still available this morning for tonight’s Fanciulla del West, looking on the Met’s seat plan.

Plenty of them are with full views, but  the first one we were offered a $345 seat with obstructed view – plus an $85 suggested donation.


The world’s most sought-after tenor has not sung at the Met for more than four years.


  • Caravaggio says:

    Combination of things: Not a popular work, the soprano’s voice in tatters, Kaufmann’s history of cancellations, the same’s most recent recital sham at Carnegie Hall, no room for crooning tricks as Jack Rance, will the diminished voice (in a spinto role) carry in the barn? And so on.

  • Classical music whisperer says:

    I will be there tonight as part of my planned subscription. Thought I had a hot ticket; I’ll report back on how many empty seats there are in the orchestra.

  • Rosana Martins says:

    Is the MET administration living in another planet? An evening at the opera for a couple costs about $1.000 with a snack, not including a babysitter? Ridiculous!

    • Stuart says:

      no, they are living in New York.

      • Olassus says:

        Cute, but not a good answer!

        • Karl says:

          Everyone knows how expensive it is to live there. 1 bed apartment rentals in NYC average about 750 square feet and cost 2700 per month.

        • Stuart says:

          It was not a good answer to not a good posting. I must have missed your good answer. NYC is expensive but you do not have to spend $1000 to attend a performance at the MET just as you don’t have to spend 600 quid to attend a performance at Covent Garden. You can in both cases as living in both cities can be very expensive, and both the MET and CG serve a variety of different people with different financial circumstances. The MET isn’t pricing itself out of its market. Take a look at broadway theatre ticket prices for the best seats. Again, you can secure $300 seats, but you don’t have to (you just may not be very close to the stage.) My “cute” answer acknowledged that the original posting wasn’t very good because it wasn’t very accurate.

          • Olassus says:

            Rosana Martins makes a good point though. Our seats for Jonas Kaufmann in Otello, with Anja Harteros as Desdemona and Kirill Petrenko conducting, put us within 30 feet of the stage and cost €28, including train fare to and from town.

    • John Kelly says:

      You don’t have to pay so much. Two tickets in the Family Circle (great sound) around $60, less than the babysitter!

    • TFL says:

      Sure – you can have that but I have spent $22 for my ticket at the MET … with Jonas Kaufmann performing. Full view, excellent sound…that’s called “family circle” and I consider that one of the best values you can get for your money. Beyond that…if you only want to see Kaufmann – that’s worth the gamble (…you never know if he is in the “mood” to perform)….but not a dime more!

  • Olassus says:

    It will be refreshing and perhaps sobering for Jonas Kaufmann to play to hundreds of empty seats — probably will further lower his zest for performing in New York.

    Peter Gelb continues to sell on a show-by-show basis, blind to the subscription imperative.

    Meanwhile JK’s Otello in Munich has been selling out within 20 minutes of each on-sale time. Last performance of the run (Dec. 21) goes on sale online this Saturday:

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    I want to attend the Saturday matinee on 10/27, but I won’t buy a ticket in advance. I love the opera but I wish it had a different Minnie. Her voice was in tatters several years ago. I can’t understand why the Met continues to put on sub-standard singers in leading roles, like Antonenko as Radames in Aida or Westbroek as Minnie. Does no one on the Met’s musical staff hear them, or do they care? I would like to hear Kaufmann and I hope he sings all his scheduled performances. I hope they have a good cover or two standing by.

    • Nik says:

      Westbroek has not been any good in dramatic repertoire for a long time but continues to be hired by top houses, which is inexplicable to me. It is a pity to be missing Pique Dame at the ROH this season as I love the work and am intrigued by the production, but I cannot remotely imagine Westbroek coping with the demands of that role.

    • John Rook says:

      Not sure how much power the Met’s music staff has in the intensely political world of opera casting.

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    I have wondered about this current La Fanciulla del West revival at the Met and how it came to star Eva Maria Westbroek. Could it be that the Zemsky/Green agency(who manages both Westbroek and Kaufmann) made a deal with Peter Gelb and the Met?
    Such as, Zemsky/Green said to the Met, “we’ll convince Kaufmann to come and sing a few performances if you give Westbroek the role of Minnie”.
    I think these kinds of deals are made all the time.

    • Caravaggio says:

      Yes those deals are done all the time. Which is not to say they are advisable or in the best interest of art making. I also think many opera houses are beholden, contractually or not, to specific artist agencies. I suspect not written contractually on paper which could spell obvious legal problems but more of a gentlemen/women’s agreement.

  • Helen Dutton says:

    As usual most of your contributors, including yourself cannot resist making snide and less than generous comments about jonas Kaufmann and other singers. It really is unsavoury and nasty. We have to believe these performers are giving of their best. But it seems you and your contributors all can do so much better. This really is a sad little blog. You are so keen to lower yourself to the lowest. It is becoming really tiresome!

    • HugoPreuss says:

      I own about half a dozen CDs by Kaufmann. And I keep buying them, bc I hope to discover what others see in his voice. So far, I have not been successful. Was that a snide remark? It was not meant as one.

    • Jane V says:

      Yes indeed, it IS ‘a sad little blog’. We do of course have to acknowledge failings & blips in casting and individual performances, but all this bickering and seemingly self-applauding comment marks up a negative for opera going! I hope everyone out there manages to relax, and enjoy what you do go and see. It isn’t supposed to be a competition as to how hyper-critical & negative we can be! It reminds me of the political arena, and the ‘corridors of knives’!

  • liloloperaluv says:

    Not many empty seats by curtain time…too bad you would have gotten more than your money’s worth.