Metropolitan Opera’s 2020-21 New Productions Possibly ‘Jeopardized’

By David Salazar
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The Metropolitan Opera’s 2020-21 season may not include new productions.

Per a report by ABC News, all previously scheduled technical rehearsals in the summer for new productions have been canceled, putting all of them into jeopardy. The new productions planned for 2020-21 include “Aida,” “The Fiery Angel,” “Die Zauberflöte,” Don Giovanni” and “Dead Man Walking.”

“Social distancing and rehearsing and performing at the Met are contradictory,” Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb said in the report. “There’s no way that I can imagine with a company the size of the Met, with hundreds of artists involved in each performance and the size of the auditorium, which is five times larger than the average Broadway theater — it is hard to imagine under those circumstances that we will be performing until such time as it is safe to do so.”

This is not the first time that Gelb has stated openly about his doubts of being able to inaugurate the season on time. He told The New York Times that it would take a “miraculous situation” for the company to open its season in September.

“Aida” is set to open in September while “The Fiery Angel” is scheduled for November. “Die Zauberflöte’s” new production is supposed to be the company’s New Year’s Eve gala event. Meanwhile both “Don Giovanni” and “Dead Man Walking” would open in March and April, following a scheduled hiatus in February. While one might conclude the cancelation of the fall productions, the two latter ones set for March and April, could still follow through if the company were able to reshape its schedule; of course all of this depends on how the reopening not only of New York City, but international travel develops in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

New York City has yet to enter Phase one of New York State’s reopening plan, with the tentative date for this first step set for early June. Theaters are part of phase four; dates for this part of the plan have yet to be established.

Were the Met to ultimately cancel its new productions for the season, it could go the route of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, which has altered its fall program to include operas that were not previously scheduled, including “Aida” and “La Bohème.”