Metropolitan Opera’s Ticket Sales Down During 2021-22 Season

By Francisco Salazar

Following a season of no cancelations due to COVID-19, the Metropolitan Opera has released its final ticket sale numbers.

According to the Independent in the U.K., the company sold 61 percent of available tickets during the 2021-22 season after returning from a one and a-half-year absence.

However, sales were down from 75 percent in last pre-pandemic season and when discounted tickets are taken into account, the company only sold 56 percent of ticket dollar capacity this season.

General Manager Peter Gelb, however, has a good outlook on the season noting, “We consider it to be a triumph in that we started and we ended and we never missed a performance along the way.”

He also added that “It was an unqualified success, even if the box office was below levels that it’s been, because of the loss of foreign tourists. Typically 20 percent of our ticket sales are foreign tourists, and we sold 8 percent percent of our tickets to foreign tourists, and 30 percent of our tickets typically are sold to domestic tourists, and those sales were down, as well.”

According to the Independent, the Met “budgeted for an attendance shortfall during the next four years and made up for the loss of revenue by raising $130 million in supplemental funding” which allowed the company to end its fiscal year with a balanced book.

The General Manager also noted that the company’s future seasons are being reconfigured to include more contemporary works because as Gelb noted, “There are many more younger faces in the audience, and there’s greater diversity in the audience. My hope and expectation is that when the local audience who has been afraid to come feels comfortable about returning, and when the foreign tourism and domestic tourism reach their pre-pandemic levels, that we will have an even larger audience than we had before the pandemic.”

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 season is set to open on Sept. 27 with “Medea” and will present new works like “The Hours” and “Champion.”