March 2, 2024


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Met Opera is taking advantage of its hiatus again due to the economic downturn

Met Opera is taking advantage of its hiatus again due to the economic downturn

But the subway faces severe challenges. Mounting a live opera is expensive, requiring lavish sets, star singers, and an orchestra and chorus far larger than the biggest Broadway shows can boast. Inflation increased the burden on the opera company, with a sharp increase in shipping and material costs. Ticket revenues last season from in-person screenings and streaming cinema were about $25 million lower than they were before the pandemic.

As well as capitalizing on its moratorium, the Metropolitan Police said it would take measures to cut costs and increase revenues suggested by Boston Consulting Group, which conducted a study of the company's operations on a pro bono basis.

The Met actually started pitching fewer pitches: 194 this season, down from 215 last season. She plans to change her schedule over the next few years so that each opera will have a more condensed presentation. They can currently have two or three short runs that may be spread out in the fall, winter and spring. Doing so would allow the company, which sometimes presents as many as four different operas over the course of a week, to have fewer operas rotating at any given moment.

Plans call for more of the Metro's more popular titles, such as Puccini's “La Bohème,” to be scheduled on weekends, when they tend to bring in much greater revenue than lesser-known works. These changes, along with other cost-cutting measures and more targeted marketing efforts, are expected to generate $25 million to $40 million annually for the company.

Even before the pandemic, the Met, the largest performing arts organization in the United States, with an annual budget of about $312 million, faced existential questions, as the old model under which subscribers bought tickets to several productions each year faded.

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The pandemic, which forced the company to close for more than a year and a half, exacerbated those problems. Many of the Met's patrons, which were older, stopped attending live performances and streaming cinema as frequently, leaving the company searching for new audiences.