Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Drama Drop -

* Is this a "take back"?... Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, is now dismissing the fact that the Met has mortgaged the two original Marc Chagall paintings which hang in it's lobby, saying “We don’t think it’s a major event.” I don't blame the Met at all. In fact, I applaud the Met for doing what it has to in order to survive. With its endowment, once $300 million, down by a third, and donations slowing to a crawl, the Met is facing horrendous deficits next season. It's too bad that in our country, this situation is becoming the rule rather than the exception. Doing what he must, Mr. Gelb has instituted 10 percent pay cuts for the staff and said he would seek to negotiate with the company’s unions for cost reductions. As previously reported here at A Liberal's Libretto, the Met has made several cuts and adjustments to next season's lineup. I tell y'all, it's survival of the fittest out there. Darwin would be proud.

* What a tough crowd... It seems that Mary Zimmerman is having a difficult time at the Met. By several accounts, Ms. Zimmerman's direction of the newest production of La Sonnambula is questionable at best. Associated Press reports that the "Met Opera makes a travesty of La Sonnambula", while Bloomberg says "Zimmerman, who usually works in theater, showed little sensitivity to the delicate psychology of early-19th-century bel canto opera when she staged “Lucia di Lammermoor” last season. This show is far worse." The real proof was in the curtain call. See for yourself:

(Photos: L, Getty Images. R. Marc Chagall at the unveiling of his paintings at the Met in 1966 - Eddie Hausner/The New York Times)

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