Gelb’s Puzzling Threshold For “Best Relationships”

The Associated Press published an article on 1/28/2021 by Ronald Blum that examines The Metropolitan Opera’s finances. Nutshell: they saw the same drop in earned income other groups are experiencing but offset that in part by increased unearned income. In and of itself, there’s nothing remarkable there but what should catch your eye is the spin Met general manager Peter Gelb put on that story. “The good news is that we’ve managed …

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The Latest Waypoint In The Met’s Ugly Labor War

The Met is seeing a surge in negative feedback across their social media channels in response to the executive leadership’s decision to weaponize the negotiation process. By that, we mean it decided to cut off artist and technical employees from all current wages and insurance unless they agree to sizable long-term concessions. In an attempt to bolster good will and maintain audience engagement, the Met decided to release archived recordings from …

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That Odor You Smell Is Disaster Blowing In The Wind

As a board member, it’s difficult to get an independent assessment of the institution and its strategic direction during periods of labor distress. There’s a natural inclination to look inward and draw strength from colleagues while not letting too many outside voices become a distraction. Having said that, you know things might be getting out of hand when a marquee level voice starts questioning your strategic wisdom. Case in point, Riccardo …

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Starting 2021 With An Empathetic Perspective

While vaccine rollouts are helping performing arts organizations take a serious look at season planning schedules, furloughed artists and arts admins have yet to see the rays from the light at the end of that tunnel. In order to gather a better understanding of just how deep those economic cracks run, I want to point out two articles of note that came out while I was on holiday break. The 12/26/2020 …

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