The Metropolitan Opera and its orchestra have reached an agreement, providing a path to the company’s reopening.
The company announced that a new collective bargaining agreement between the Metropolitan Opera and its orchestra was ratified on August 24.
The company did not provide economic details of the new deal with the orchestra but noted that the Met’s 2021–22 season opening on Sept. 27 is right on schedule.
One part of the new agreement with the orchestra will see the creation of an annual chamber music series of six concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, also beginning this fall. The new series is an initiative of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was inspired by the orchestra’s entrepreneurial efforts during the long shutdown.
In a statement Met General Manager Peter Gelb said, “The members of the Met’s great orchestra have been through Herculean challenges during the sixteen months of the shutdown, as we struggled to keep the company intact. Now, we look forward to rebuilding and returning to action.
Music Director Nézet-Séguin added, “The pandemic has caused pain and suffering for so many people, and in ways that will remain forever. And while we as musicians cannot make that pain go away, our art form is special in that it can provide moments of healing and catharsis to a spirit in need.”
To celebrate the announcement, the company will present two free, pre-season performances at Damrosh Park of the Met Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5. Nézet-Séguin will conduct soloists soprano Ying Fang and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.
Both concerts are free and open to the public, with approximately 2,500 seats set up next to the Metropolitan Opera House in Damrosch Park. General-admission seating will open ten minutes before each presentation on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Met Orchestra Chamber Ensemble will perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on the following dates: Sunday, Oct. 10 at 2:00pm ET; Sunday, Nov. 21 at 7:30pm ET; Monday, Jan. 24 at 7:30pm ET; Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7:30pm ET; Monday, Feb. 7 at 7:30pm ET; and Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm ET.