Peter Gelb has a deputy and 6 assistant general managers on the payroll

Peter Gelb has a deputy and 6 assistant general managers on the payroll


norman lebrecht

March 14, 2021

None of them has been let go during the Covid year.

So how does Gelb justify maintaining a vast administrative suite in idleness whil refusing to pay the salaries of his orchestra and chorus?

Here’s the list:

Deputy General Manager
Diana Fortuna

Assistant General Managers
Mia Bongiovanni
Gillian Brierley
-Marketing & Communications
John Sellars
Marcia Sells
-Chief Diversity Officer
Coralie Toevs
Diane Zola


  • marcus says:

    What, if anything, are they doing?

    • Rogerio says:

      That list contains a LOT of women.
      I wonder if any men were harmed when putting together Gelb’s “team”.

      • John Borstlap says:

        In pictures of Gelb it is always the way in which his arms and hands are hanging, which somehow suggests something creepy.

    • Ann Jane says:

      Raising money to sustain and promote the Met. Those on the administrative staff (all nonunion) who aren’t furloughed are working their tails off to keep the Met open.

  • Save the MET says:

    After the havoc he has wreaked on the company, I don’t even know how he sleeps at night.

  • Save the MET says:

    There are more employees than that on the payroll Norman. I spoke with one not on this list this past week and asked that very question. When I asked about the orchestra and chorus, the conversation ended quickly.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Because he can. Or, rather, enabled to do so.

  • Mario Lutz says:

    New York Times doesn’t made any comment on this…
    Why? (my stupid emoji face)

  • Simon A Bird says:

    He is an AWFUL person. And what exactly do these people DO?

    • Mark says:

      More than what the musicians would be doing if they were still on payroll!

    • V.Lind says:

      I imagine Sells keeps busy sniffing out unconscious bias. If she expands her remit to include bias against artists and musicians, she should have her hands full.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Absolutely priceless. More like the old USSR every single day. All that’s missing is the uniforms.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    Very glad to see the Chief Diversity Officer is still on the payroll. Ensuring the diversity of the unpaid artists is a vital function.

    • Mecky Messer says:

      Hey. In these day and age we can’t afford to underpay and hummiliate only white people. Humiliation needs to look like our communities.

      Not under Pete’s watch. Hell no!

  • CA says:

    Nepotism comes to mind.

  • Peter’s friend says:

    Oooh. Now show what they make!!!

  • Edgar Self says:

    All but one of the seven have female names.

    • Stanley Blum says:

      Perhaps he’s pulling a Cuomo…

      We now have the “Cuomo 7” and counting in NYC as so many businesses and individuals have had to shutter forever, pack up and leave the State.

      Peter better pay attention to what’s happening to both Cuomo and Newsom of CA. The left is eating their own with only Pelosi (too drunk) and Biden (too senile) to tell Cuomo to resign. Not sure what Harris can do??? Even chunky Chucky Schumer told Cuomo off on Friday between praising the deficient stimulus.

      The Met has been left to languish since the 90’s with poor business and casting decisions for the most part. Most of the singers aren’t even strong enough in solid bel canto and name recognition to be up there. All they have is a dried up old white guy attempting to patch up his ineptitude with a black woman who has no good reason to be there let alone drawing a salary and benefits from a CLOSED BUSINESS. Think of the waste between that position and Levine’s payoff plus top legal fees.

      The ‘voice’ clearly does NOT need to be heard any longer.

  • anon says:

    Are you doxing these individuals?

    Tread very carefully, what’s your aim in printing these individuals’ names, what are you nudging your readership to do with these names?

    Doxing, and all related acts, could cross the line and become a federal or state offense.

    (What IS your point? These individuals should be fired because the orchestra is not working? More firing is more equitable? More pain is more fair?)

    • Kathleen King says:

      No, not that they should be “fired” but given leave without pay as the folk who actually MAKE the MET. “Administration” types are cheap on the ground but world class musicians who can work in an orchestra environment, folk who have worked with and developed the stage equipment needed for MET productions, skilled seamstresses and makeup artists, et al. THEY are experienced and necessary. Send the paperpushers home on furlough just like the really important MET people.

      • againstbigotry says:

        The thing is is that these people are actually working at the Met right now (it’s unclear if they are full-time at present) in ways the orchestra and others have been unable to unfortunately. Artistic planning still needs to happen, and it’s more important than ever to consider all the different scenarios under which future performances might occur. Sellers’s job is tied naturally to artistic, since you need to have someone who understands how to make productions work in knotty-gritty details as one plans (ex: staging productions in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the company’s resources at any given time). Development is obviously needed, like how the hell do we expect the Met to reopen without raising funds (like it or not, even without paying the orchestra or having performances, the company has expenses). All the Met’s operations right now revolve around media, and also obviously marketing and communications are still necessary, when the company is undergoing major union negotiations and attempting to work towards the future. We can object to certain unions not receiving payment outside of healthcare benefits all we like, but the truth of the matter is that some people are needed to ensure its present and future operations, while others are needed to make it work in the future (this is not to diminish the orchestra. it is simply true).

        Let’s stop acting like administrators aren’t necessary or don’t play a genuinely valuable role at these companies. We love to talk about how each orchestra member is invaluable and unique at a company. Why can’t an administrator be the same?

        • V.Lind says:

          You didn’t mention what the Diversity Czarina was doing in these times. For that matter, what the hell will she be doing when things are back to (the new) normal?

      • NotToneDeaf says:

        “Administration types are cheap,” “paper pushers,” not “experienced” or “skilled.” I’d like to see you raise millions of dollars, I’d like to see you analyze and negotiate complex union contracts, I’d like to see you juggle the casting of dozens of different operas, I’d like to see you in charge of millions of dollars of expenses. If you don’t understand that arts management is also a highly skilled career then you don’t understand the first thing about how the arts are produced. You’re also a shitty human being.

        • DAVID says:

          But they are, too, for the most part, paper pushers, and those at the top in admin are also quite often sociopaths. I’d like to see you practice an instrument for 20 years, control your nerves during an audition in which you’re competing against 300 applicants, rinse and repeat for years until you finally get an actual job, do the job for decades under physically grueling conditions — or alternatively, realize that despite all of your efforts you might just not be talented enough, because no amount of work in the world can compensate for the lack of inner ability. I’m not saying what these people do is useless, but to compare those who actually are responsible for the artistic product people come to hear with those sitting in an office and occasionally spouting their well-rehearsed sophistry to donors is simply delusional. It also smacks of our new Orwellian world, in which business is celebrated and true art denigrated. Frankly, when someone is perusing a program before an opera performance, they really don’t give a flying f*ck who might be writing up contracts or paying bills — what they care about is hearing wonderful music, in the same way that no one cares who the museum director might be in a Monet retrospective.

          • MWnyc says:

            I would expect that the musicians who give those performances care very much whether they get their fees paid, their contracts drawn and signed and observed, and their performances publicized.

          • DAVID says:

            And I would expect that the people who draw contracts, sign and observe them as well as publicize performances, have an actual product worthy of contracts being drawn, signed and observed, etc. Seems to me that without a world-class product they can sell, these people don’t even have a job to go to. No credible institution can survive for very long by deliberately undermining its own product — it’s called “self-destruction.”

      • Jeff says:

        Administrative staffers are just as critical as musicians and stage technicians. There’s still work to be done even in the absence of performances.

    • please says:

      doxing them? they’re all listed on the met’s own website under the administration page.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      I believe Norman is simply looking for transparency, equity, and accountability. All of the relevant information is available on the Met’s website, as are the institution’s past tax filings which detail top-earners’ salaries and benefits. Nothing confidential; all public information.

      • Larry D. says:

        “Transparency, equity, and accountability”? Is this how you define what increasingly appears to be a personal vendetta?

    • P. Lumley says:

      It’s a 501c3 corporation open to the public.

      No need to get your knickers in a twist.

    • Christopher Williams says:

      The entire administrative staff list is listed on the Metropolitan Opera’s website.

    • James Weiss says:

      You clearly don’t know what “doxing” means.

    • Novagerio says:

      Anon: With no orchestra, no chorus and no technicians, there won’t be much point in planning.
      On a second note, Corona get’s too much the blame for things we have seen long ago concerning cuts.
      Slim down the technical crew backstage from 30 to 15, and set-changes will last longer while the
      $$$ meter clicks.
      And when the curtain doesn’t rise, and the pit is empty, they can use that huge 3.800 capacity space as a gigantic cinema, where they can show Livestreams with the glories from the past.
      Rest in peace the Opera art.

      • MWnyc says:

        Planning is what sees to it that, once theaters and concert halls reopen, they have performances to present.

        You don’t seriously think that the Met can send out emails and phone calls on Friday saying, “Hey, everybody, the Governor says we can reopen on Monday, so come in and we’ll do Carmen Monday night”, do you?

  • Jack_Ewing says:

    The people on the list happen to be *working*, no? Unlike the orchestra, chorus and stage crew. Go ask Cuomo to reopen theaters in NYC then perhaps we can have a season. 30% in pay cut is realistic, since ticket sales will suffer a much greater cut. So will donations. Tourism in NYC is dead & buried. Wealthy donors and board members have saved the Met in the past with generous gifts, they will no longer contribute as they did, if at all. Time for unions to get realistic.

    • Get Real says:

      Why do those essential employees who are needed for the productions have to suffer with their pay being permanently cut? The unions are already being realistic here for the long term prosperity of their members.

      The Met and Gelb would save more on cutting costs with their programming and using older shows then cutting labors wages.

      Like you said.. tourism’s dead. Why are they spending millions on new productions when they can bring back already built classics for a minimal price tag ? They aren’t willing to make the sacrifice.

      Because, it’s not about trying to save money due to covid. It’s to push unions out permanently.

  • Kathleen King says:

    Peter Gelb is delusional in his grandiose vision of himself as an Impresario. He MUST be dismissed now if anything of the MET is to be saved. “Union buster” is the kindest label one can affix to him and his actions. The MET is the whole team EXCEPT Administration: pay the wages, they are worth every penny. GELB IS A SCAB.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Remember, the administration does not appear on stage. Without the musicians and artists–hundreds more than the handful of international stars–there is no Met. A year without income. Think about that.

    • Larry D. says:

      It’s obvious you enjoy name-calling, but could you at least do it correctly? By definition it is impossible for someone in management to be a “scab”. Legal Definition of scab
      1 : a worker who refuses to join a labor union. 2 : a union member who refuses to strike or returns to work before a strike has ended. 3 : a worker who accepts employment or replaces a union worker during a strike.

  • gfg says:

    When you say, rather provocatively, that these people are being paid for their idleness, you neglect the fact that they are surely busy planning for next season, if there is going to be one. I would venture to guess they are working very hard. The musicians, on the other hand, are not being paid because there is no work for them. If we lived in a different kind of country where government supported artists, they would be paid by the government. But we do not, and therefore they are not being paid. What is your point? Is it the Met’s responsibility, in the face of no income coming in, to make up for the priorities of the US government? Honestly, when I see the hostile comments that are constantly directed towards the Met’s management I wonder if certain people will not be happy until they go bankrupt.

  • Brian says:

    “It’s good to be the king.”

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Chief Diversity Officer. That’s fair enough; it’s what the Left has been screaming that it wants for a decade or more now!! Once again, epic hypocrisy from that cohort.

  • MacroV says:

    Well, their job titles kind of explain what they’re doing. And just because the MET isn’t currently staging performances doesn’t mean the functions those people oversee stop. They have to lay the groundwork for when the MET resumes its shows.

  • damn the unions says:

    if it were not for the incompetent unions’ lack of understanding about economic realities and unrealistic demands, no one would be unpaid!

  • Sharon says:

    I realize that a certain amount of artistic planning, publicity, and the funds to do it, are necessary. In addition, whenever an institution has a lot of government funding it becomes a bureaucracy and accountability, that is reports, frequently become more important that the actual program.

    I worked in a New York City government bureaucracy in the nineties. We were super backed up in out work and we desperately needed more people in our job titles. Management never had the budget. However, the bureaucracy was top heavy with management and “analyst” titles, some of whom did not do a hell of a lot. One of my bosses, who was one of those who was in that category, even wrote a poem about doing crossword puzzles in her office.

  • Edward Fleischman says:

    Did they take big pay cuts?

  • Dr. Droopy-Doo-Doo says:

    Gosh I hope this filthy company finally dies!

  • Nijinsky says:

    I can’t really say that I have the objective ability to clearly delineate why there’s lack of money to pay for the orchestra on leave, or why would they return their paycheck goes down 30 percent. But there is one question that truly makes me wonder, and that’s when the very people are being paid who are responsible for taking care that there are adequate funds, this when it’s clear that they haven’t found the means to find money to take care of the orchestra musicians!? That’s a simple question. One truly wonders where those are who would even think they might find a means beyond what’s become customary and what is believed to be possible, when such customs and such beliefs haven’t found the money to pay the orchestra members. And it isn’t just the pandemic that brings this problem up, regarding who is in charge. Might there not be a change necessary, and might this not have been necessary quite a few years ago already?

    How much can you blame this on that the money just isn’t there, when it’s the people saying that it’s not there that would be responsible for taking care that it is? And the Met is pretty much an icon for not only New York, but for the United States.

    Just asking….