The Metropolitan Opera, the nation’s single largest performing arts company, announced today that it has canceled the remainder of its 2019-2020 season, which was set to conclude on May 9.
The company’s orchestra, chorus and stagehands will not be paid past March, though all full-time union employees will still get healthcare coverage throughout the coronavirus crisis.
"We’re doing the best we can under a horrendously difficult situation," Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, told the New York Times. "As far as our union employees are concerned, we are trying to do the best we can by them, given the financial constraints that we have."
Higher paid employees will also take pay reductions ranging from 10 to 50 percent, and General Manager Peter Gelb will waive his salary.
The Met is instituting an emergency fundraising drive to help the loss of box office and other earned revenues resulting from the canceled performances to ensure they can reopen their doors.
“The money we raise will help ensure that the Met will return, so that our artists and company members will once again be able to perform in our house,” Gelb said in the announcement.
The company still plans to continue streaming performances from its archive of Live in HD transmissions through its website and other platforms.