Peter Gelb dials up knockdown concert

Peter Gelb dials up knockdown concert


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2021

Press statement from the Met:

On Sunday, May 16, at the Knockdown Center, the Queens performing arts space, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and soloists Angel Blue, Stephen Costello, Justin Austin, and Eric Owens, in A Concert for New York, an eclectic program ranging from the “Lacrymosa” movement of the Mozart Requiem to the aria “Peculiar Grace” from Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, set to have its Met premiere in September. There will be two performances of the 45-minute program at 6pm and 8:30pm. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, attendance is limited to 150 people per performance, and tickets are being distributed by lottery to Met audience members and to first responders affiliated with Mount Sinai’s hospital in Queens.

“As the city’s largest performing arts company, we are determined to participate in New York’s re-opening, even though there is much still to be settled with our unions and in preparing the opera house for next season,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager. “With the Met currently unavailable, we’re excited to present this concert at the Knockdown Center.”

Knockdown sounds about right.



  • Anon says:

    What contracts have the orchestra and chorus been offered? What are the terms?
    Does anyone know?

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      They’re playing a gig. Isn’t that good enough for the moment?

      • Kathleen E King says:

        NOT while GELB remains.

      • Rubin Horowitz says:

        Peter is just exercising his white power as usual.

        He’s waiting for others with grater white power like Di Blasio, Cuomo, Schumer, Pelosi and grand wizard Biden to coordinate with.

        The chain of systemic racism links completely on the left.

    • Anon 2 says:

      Why would anyone share the offer with you?

    • MWnyc says:

      The chorus union’s negotiators have an agreement with the Met, but terms won’t be made public until the full union membership votes to approve it.

    • Phillip says:

      Peter Gelb is happy with his terms and conditions.

  • Monty Earleman says:

    News of the Met’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

  • Monsoon says:

    So members of the Met Orchestra are participating in this. Seems like some members are ready to take Gelb’s deal…

    Maybe things are going to be resolved soon.

  • sam says:

    Looks like stagehand union isn’t allowing anyone near the stage, not even on the island of Manhattan, they gotta go over the river and out to Queens!

  • MWnyc says:

    Wow, that’s a pretty remote location.

    Seems to be a 20-minute walk from the nearest subway stops (which aren’t very central themselves). About a ten-minute walk from the nearest bus stop.

  • Bruno Michel says:

    If members of the orchestra are taking part to this concert, aside from the chorus (cf today’s other post about them by the Author), then it means that at least part of the orchestra is willing to come back, which one can interpret as a positive sign, maybe, that the orchestral unions negotiations will also soon be successfully concluded? Peer pressure in such unions is so strong that one has difficulty imagining that some members of the orchestra would be allowed to take part to this concert if the union and its leaders and the majority of its members did not agree to it implicitly, which could be interpreted as a signal of a certain willingness to move towards ending the deadlock.

    • We ARE The Met says:

      You could interpret it this way. But you would be mistaken to underestimate the orchestra’s resolve to get a fair contract and protect the artistic integrity of the institution. Speculation only goes so far.

    • Kathleen E King says:

      Or that they have families and debts? GELB MUST GO! GELB did not “create” the MET nor did he make it great: the orchestra, chorus, stage staff and, yes, Jimmy Levine’s maestroship made the MET what it was and should be. GET RID OF GELB

    • justin says:

      Or, maybe because the orchestra is actually being PAID right now, and when you’re being paid, you actually have to WORK.

      so it’s not exactly magnanimity on the players’ part to actually earn their salary by tooting for a few hours

  • Kathleen King says:

    So long as SCAB Peter GElb has anything to do with the MET (other than sending in his resignation!), do not patronize or donate to it. Yes, the situation with COVID has been awful but during that time, it was GELB who denied refused to PAY the orchestra, chorus and stage/artistic staff while hiring “administrative” people; all designed to destroy the unions. GELB is a an EVIL man, does not have the best interests of the MET in his goal — only his own aggrandizement. Instead of this concert, send money to the funds supporting the orchestra, the chorus, and all work staff! It was these people who made and ARE the Metropolitan Opera.

    • JoshW says:

      Oh, calm down with your pathological hatred of Gelb. If you think that someone with evil intentions and no interests other than getting rich is going to use a highly troubled non-profit to fulfill that mission, you have a screw loose. You also don’t understand what a “scab” is.

  • John says:

    What no one is saying here is that this was originally a NY State program through their “NY Pops Up!” program. That fell through for unknown reasons and the Met picked it up. The location, appropriately named the “Knockdown Center” is an indoor space for Raves and Rap concerts. Not good for opera. This is a bad idea for everyone involved.