The Met shifts to pay per view at $20 a shot

The Met shifts to pay per view at $20 a shot


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2020

The Metropolitan Opera is rolling out 12 star concerts ‘in striking locations across Europe and the US’, it aoounced on Friday. Each view will cost $20.

Artists include Roberto Alagna, Piotr Beczała, Angel Blue, Joseph Calleja, Javier Camarena, Diana Damrau, Lise Davidsen, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufmann, Aleksandra Kurzak, Anna Netrebko, Sondra Radvanovsky, Bryn Terfel, Pretty Yende and Sonya Yoncheva.

‘This new initiative is intended to create live performance opportunities for our artists and our audiences at a time when they both sorely need it,’ said Met general manager Peter Gelb. ‘Although some concert activity is beginning to take place once again in some parts of the world, this is a chance for opera fans to experience their favorite stars in real time, since it’s going to be a long time before artists and their audiences are fully mobile again.’



  • Bloom says:

    The “striking locations” detail certainly adds to the decorative kitsch that any Met “star gala” cannot do without.

    • John Austin says:

      They should have tested the show they did live over the Internet at the beginning of the pandemic. There are a number of technology companies that could have supplied better HD cameras, microphones and probably laptops than those performers had in their homes. If someone had asked Elon Musk for some he could have provided everything they needed (including real-time fast net access) by courier, just for the publicity.

  • Bruce says:

    It’s only fair to mention that these will be professionally produced, not the home-webcam version of the previous gala.

  • Brian L says:

    After listening and watching everything for free for 4 months and more, I doubt anybody would even pay 2 bucks to watch this…
    When did the polish AK become a star…? The Met looks pretty poor in their choices, some really good ones and some really boring ones

  • MET fan says:

    How about the Met Orchestra? Has Gelb or YNS organized anything for them?

    • Save the great MET Orchestra says:

      The orchestra is being starved while YNS keeps working on other projects and Gelb is trying to help the soloists whilst nothing for the orchestra or chorus. Despicable.

      • the MET board says:

        That’s what unemployment insurance is for.

        Stop bothering the 1% MET about the underlings!!!!

  • More of the same says:

    More of the same from the Met. All about star-f***ing and very little substance. Where is the support for the orchestra musicians and orchestra? Where is an announcement of some additional pay for them?

  • Nurhan Arman says:

    This is excellent news. Live streaming should be paid! Professional orchestras and opera companies must come to an understanding that live streaming shouldn’t be free. For many musicians this may be one of their few sources of income during 2020-2021 season. Industry associations in each country should work to get their member organizations to agree to paid streaming.

    • Arts Activist! says:


      Gelb’s recent little emergency fundraiser is the answer.

      Plenty of money poured in from donors and will be steered DIRECTLY to the administrative staff, orchestra, chorus and booked singers who are all victims of the force majeure…RIGHT PETER???

    • Marg says:

      I agree with you Nurhan Arman. I think US$20 is a steal for a professionally produced performance by Met artists. Yes, there are some that dont appeal to me personally, but Id pay $20 any day for Joyce DiDonato, and several others. And they should be not be giving it away. Great move by the Met.

  • Thomas Jostlein says:

    And what about paying the orchestra? Or perhaps that is in the works, too.

  • Freddynyc says:

    Should be a seeing a major readjustment of salaries across the board from orchestra personnel, soloists to conductors. Looks like that will be the only way for live classical music to survive post-Covid……

  • CA says:

    $20 for me is several days of food. The masses in America are in this boat, many thousands who are artists or managers.

  • Monsoon says:

    The cynicism towards the Met is deranged — people clearly just want it to burn so they can feel like they know better than Gelb.

    You don’t have to like the guy, but stop acting like operating the largest performing arts organizations in the world, in the middle of a pandemic, in the state that was hardest hit at first, where members of he orchestra have died, is child’s play.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      The sad fact is that over the past dozen years Peter created so much ill-will within the company and with the public that it is difficult to accept at this point anything positive he does. It’s a case of reaping and sowing…life lessons often never learned.

      The Met was a special place and hopefully–one day–it will be restored to the status of a singers’ house.

  • fflambeau says:

    Creative and realistic.

  • Diane Valerie says:

    Why should the Met provide this for free? They have been more than generous in providing free entertainment for weeks on end and are still continuing to do so, giving pleasure to many if you read the comments on their website. It would cost a lot more than USD 20 to see these artists on the concert platform. Why are people so mean-spirited?

  • Jackyt says:

    No Florez, so I won’t be watching.

  • Papageno says:

    So many snarky, jaded opera old folgies pontificating and bellyaching about the Met management charging $20 for a ‘flawed’ gala roster but offering nothing to help. In my years of opera-going, such old-timers are the worst, most miserable people to hang around with.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Then don’t hang with them. But do remember, these folks helped sustain the company long before you were around. Respect.