The board of directors of the Metropolitan Opera has extended the general manager’s contract for a further five years, to the middle of 2027. He has been in the job since 2006.
Gelb turned 66 this month. He will be 74 before this contract is up.
He told the Associated Press: It gives me the freedom to execute future planning and also I think will provide a level of stability for the company and an assurance to my staff and my team and the artistic community with whom I have to deal with that ideas that are being discussed will actually be implemented.’
No man sho ran the Met has ever been loved, but Gelb has attracted unusual levels of dislike, balanced by very few signs of affection. The tough decisions he has taken – provoking an orchestra strike, firing James Levine, dropping Domingo – have been either forced on him or conducted with unfailing lack of grace. He is not an approachable man. But he has survived.
And so has the Met.