the coronavirus

The Metropolitan Opera Cancels All Remaining 2020 Performances

The Met. Photo: Santi Visalli/Santi Visalli

Months after furloughing its orchestra, chorus, and trade employees, the Metropolitan Opera announced on Monday that its fall season will be canceled for the rest of the year. The New York Times reports that the company made the decision due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has already begun to dismantle America’s cultural infrastructure as we know it. The Met, which is the country’s largest performing arts organization, was originally optimistic for a September reopening. Now, it hopes to be able to at least put on one performance for a New Year’s Eve gala. “It’s transparently obvious that social distancing and grand opera cannot go together,” general manager Peter Gelb told the Times in an interview. “It’s not just the audience; it’s the health of the company. You cannot put a symphony orchestra inside a pit, and performers and a chorus in intimate proximity on the stage of the Met.” Gelb added that he’s unsure what post-pandemic opera culture will look like. “The future of the Met,” he warned, “is going to be very different.”

The Metropolitan Opera Cancels Remaining 2020 Performances