Metropolitan Opera Guild to Scale Down Operations, Announces Major Changes for Opera News

By Francisco Salazar

The Metropolitan Opera Guild has announced that it will scale back its operations this fall due to economic headwinds.

The Guild said that its monthly publication, Opera News, will continue under the editorial direction of the U.K.-based Opera Magazine beginning December 2023.

Additionally, the Met will incorporate the Guild’s largest educational activity, the dress-rehearsal program that each year brings 12,000 school children to the Metropolitan Opera House, into its extensive public-programming offerings. The Met’s HD Live in Schools program will operate in nearly 70 school districts across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. The Guild membership program will continue as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s membership initiatives.

The Guild also noted that the annual fall luncheon and its spring Opera News Awards will be discontinued. Moreover, the organization will transition from its current status as a standalone not-for-profit to becoming a supporting organization of the Met.

Finally, the Guild announced that existing employees will be receiving severance packages and the Board members will be offered positions on the Met Board.

In a statement, Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr., and Richard J. Miller, Jr., the Guild’s Chairman and President, said, “Ever since its formation by Mrs. August Belmont in 1935, the Metropolitan Opera Guild has served the cause of American opera and the Met. We’re very proud of the Guild’s long record as an educator and supporter of opera in this country. We greatly appreciate the valuable efforts of our employees over the years, but it is no longer economically viable for us to continue in our current form. While this chapter of the Guild is coming to a close, we’re happy that Opera News will continue as an independent voice, albeit in a different format under the editorial leadership of Opera magazine, and we’re pleased that the Guild name will live on with our longstanding student dress-rehearsal program, which has introduced generations of school children to our art form.”

John Allison, editor and publisher of Opera Magazine said, “We are mindful of the rich editorial history of Opera News and are delighted to perpetuate it in a special U.S.-focused section within our pages, which will also keep all our readers worldwide better informed about the Met’s HD and radio broadcasts. With our first such issue in December, we will be increasing our print run to accommodate all the Guild members and current Opera News subscribers in the United States.”