The Met’s New Year gala will come from…. Germany

The Met’s New Year gala will come from…. Germany


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2020

The Metropolitan Opera, desperate to raise cash and profile but clean out of ideas, has published plans for a pay-to-view year-end gala to be streamed from the 1886 false-baroque Parktheater in Augsburg, Germany.

Taking part will be Angel Blue, Javier Camarena, Matthew Polenzani and Pretty Yende.




  • E says:

    well a few things. matthew is incredible and so is pretty, but unless they have EU residency they are rather stuck (unless there are exceptions made) and what is the orchestra going to be?

    • david hilton says:

      So why would Matthew or Pretty be “stuck” in a way that EU residents would not be? If you are implying that there is some nationality-based quarantine or other COVID related problem, there is not. There are no laws or regulations I am aware of that make any distinction on this basis. Anyone arriving in Germany faces the same quarantine and isolation rules whether they are German, American, Swiss, Italian, or whatever. Similarly, anyone transiting from the US to Germany must comply with the same rules as do Americans, whether they are EU residents or not.

    • ellen says:

      The great general manager, instead of hiring his own unpaid Met Orchestra, flew the soloists there and employed musicians there.

  • Morgan says:

    Excited? No. The Met has been a sloppy place for some years now.

  • New Yorker says:

    Is the MET Orchestra involved?

  • Alviano says:

    A confession that Lincoln Center is no longer tenable?
    The Park Theater is pretty enough. To say “false-baroque” is unnecessarily snide. Indeed it doesn’t look baroque at all to me. Very 19th century Kurpark.
    With all the windows it should be well-ventilated and its location in a spa appropriate.

  • Bill says:

    Germany, unlike the United States, gives ample government support to the arts and has not completely botched response to the virus. The Met cannot print money in its basement, it cannot violate prohibitions on live gatherings, it cannot change the ongoing catastrophic response to the Covid virus, it cannot convince Mitch McConnell to give them relief.

    But please, continue the uninformed glib comments from the peanut gallery. This is getting very tiresome.

    Funny how I don’t see any criticism aimed at the Schubert, Disney or the Niederlander organizations, which unlike the Met are very wealthy, for profit companies, whose Broadway pit musicians are in the exact same position as the Met musicians.

    • Thomas Dawkins says:

      The difference is that NL hates the MET just like he hates the BBC, and even if they were somehow able to do a fully staged opera tomorrow where nobody got sick, a full house of miraculously healthy people, and paid everybody who participated a million dollars, there’d be something wrong with it.

    • New Yorker says:

      Last I checked this was a post about the MET Opera Gala, not a broadway production. Probably why they weren’t mentioned. But yes, super funny.

    • Marge O. says:

      the us empire was and is a bad joke. 400yrs+ of hustling and huckstering. 330M used car salesmen all tryin’ to get the dinero.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Please explain how not reporting the conditions of the MET musicians shows lack of concern for others having the same plight?

      This is also simply a blog about classical music, and you refer to Broadway theaters.

      You have quite a sense of humor though. Is it funny when Norman doesn’t report the decimation of a species of bird, or their extinction, but only reports on the MET musician and their dire straits?

      Is there anything else that deserves attention, so that you can have a good laugh?

    • Nijinsky says:

      Um the last comment should have read: “Please explain how not reporting the conditions of the MET musicians shows concern for others having the same plight?”

      rather than

      “Please explain how not reporting the conditions of the MET musicians shows lack of concern for others having the same plight?”

      With all of the negatives it could have been

      “Please explain how not reporting the conditions of the MET musicians shows no lack of concern for others having the same plight?”

      as well

  • Paul says:

    Excited? Not at all!
    In fact, the Met hasn’t excited many poeple since many years already… the newly announced New Year’s Eve Gala (which should have some sort of starry power at least) sounds like such a bore.
    What also sounds really boring is their 21/22 season, which is even more dramatic.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    I’m already yawning. Sorry. What is “Metropolitan Opera” about a performance (it doesn’t rise to the level of a “gala”) in a pretty but hardly fitting venue for a New York City company with a group of talented but not exactly top rank artists? Individual clips will get the occasional viewing on Youtube in coming years, but not much on New Year’s Eve.

    At least they’re trying to remain relevant, but the Met really lacks the imagination to harness what used to make the company world-class. This from the man whose claim to fame at Sony Classical was the soundtrack to “Titanic”.

    (I got a chuckle when I read the news item in Opera News…”The gala will be shot with multiple cameras and linked via satellite to a control room in New York City where soprano Christine George will host the event.” It took me a few minutes to realize that Christine George is not some singer I’d never heard of.). How soon they forget.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      I see that OperaNews corrected “George” to “Goerke”. Frankly, I wish they had replaced it with “Voigt”…

  • Guess all the houses in Munich were sold out or too expensive…..

  • William Safford says:

    Considering the travel restrictions, not to mention the spiking deaths and infections in the U.S. from COVID-19, it probably makes sense to hold the event where the lion’s share of the singers are located right now.

  • Jack says:

    Sounds wonderful.

  • optimist says:

    What if turns out to be fun* – lots of critics will be disappointed!

  • Sharon says:

    I remember that my first introduction to live opera was at the age of 12 on New Year’s Eve 1971 when my grandparents took me too the Met to see La Fille des Regiment with Joan Sutherland. I had bought the dress for the event in August!
    Fifty years later I still remember my thrill and the excitement. I hope that once this plague is over other 12 year olds will be able to experience this also.

  • Worth noting that Augsburg (pop. 295,000) has a full time opera house even though it is only 45 minutes from Munich which has two full time houses.

  • Ethan says:

    Where are the plans published – link, please?

  • John says:

    Want to support a real feel-good event with Matthew Polenzani? I hear that the MET Orchestra Musicians are putting on a virtual concert this Sunday. Tickets For this independently organized event are available on their website. THAT is the story Norman should be writing about.

  • Sarah says:

    Didn’t you just report that the Met Orchestra concertmaster has relocated to Germany? Do you think that means they will include him? Or continue to hire non-Met musicians?