Metropolitan Opera Furloughs 41 Employees With Uncertainty Over Fall Season Opening Looming

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera has announced that it will furlough dozens of administrators.

The New York Times is reporting that due to financial woes, the Met would furlough 41 members of its administrative staff and 11 others will be cut to part-time hours. The furloughed workers will receive two weeks of pay and will retain their health benefits.

General Manager Peter Gelb told the Times, “We have enjoyed greater success than I would have imagined in terms of keeping the Met connected through these various activities, and raising money through the emergency campaign. On the other hand, the magnitude of the long-term damage — the immediate and long-term effects of the health crisis on the performing arts — seem graver and more challenging than they appeared a month ago.”

Gelb also noted that while the company was selling tickets to the 2020-21 season, the fall season was currently in jeopardy. He said that “Hard decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks about the opening. Perhaps by some miraculous situation we can return in the fall.”

The news comes on the heals of Governor Andrew Cuomo stating that only upstate New York would be entering phase one of reopening on May 15. He also added that entertainment would open in phase four of reopening. It also comes a day after Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin said international travel would not resume until 2021. The Met Opera’s opening night roster is headlined by four artists who reside in European countries.