Met Opera Lays Off All Union Employees, Including Musicians and Chorus
The organization made the decision in the wake of coronavirus
The Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts organization in the country, has reportedly laid off all of its unionized staff — including its musicians and chorus — in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.
BREAKING: NPR has learned that the Met Opera has laid off all of its union employees, including its musicians and chorus. The Met is the US' largest performing arts organization. More to come online & on air.
— Anastasia Tsioulcas (@anastasiat) March 19, 2020
Just five days ago, the organization, whose budget last year was $312 million, announced it was canceling all rehearsals and performances through the end of the month. Ticketholders for the canceled March 14 performance of “Cosi Fan Tutte” were told the value of their tickets would be credited to their Met Opera account.
Earlier this week, the Met announced that it would stream operas from its “Live in HD” series on its website for free every night. All the streamings begin at 7:30 p.m. EST and remain up on the Met’s site for 20 hours. Tonight (March 19), they will stream a 2018 performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez and Quinn Kelsey. (You can check out the full “Live in HD” streaming schedule here.)
So far, there’s no official word from the Met on whether the layoffs are temporary or permanent, or how they’ll affect future performances. Stay tuned for more information as we get it.
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