Metropolitan Opera Production Elevator Malfunctions Before ‘Turandot’ Performance

By Francisco Salazar

On March  20, 2024, the Metropolitan Opera was forced to present Puccini’s “Turandot” in a sem-staged version after a stage elevator jammed.

According to the Associated Press, Met General Manager Peter Gelb made an announcement before the performance stating, “I’m sorry to say that this is not going to be a normal night at the opera — not that when it comes to the Met, normal and opera are two words that are typically used in the same sentence.” He added, “Our brilliant cast, orchestra and chorus are ready to perform for you in what will be an historic first — a semi-staged presentation of `Turandot’ at the Met.”

Gelb also noted that the malfunction occurred following a daytime rehearsal of Puccini’s “La Rondine” where sets were moved.

According to a Metropolitan Opera company member, they were told before the performance that “it happened hours before curtain as they were prepping the show” and “two back lifts weren’t in sync and caused a major pin that holds them in place together to break.”

As a result of the malfunction, ticketholders were given the option of refunds. According to the New York Times, 150 people left but the majority stayed.

The next performance of “Turandot” is set to be held on March 23 with Elena Pankratova in the title role.