Are the Met’s Finances as Rosy as They Seem?

A set design for Parsifal by Michael Levine(Photo: Met Opera Technical Department)
A set design for Parsifal by Michael Levine(Photo: Met Opera Technical Department)

James Levine, whose physical problems are legion, was forced to withdraw from conducting the Metropolitan Opera in September of last year.  At this point, no one expects him to be able to conduct until late 2013.

The question is…what now?

According to the Met’s 2010- 2011 tax return, the Metropolitan Opera’s Music Director, earned $2.1 million in 2010, up 39 percent from a year earlier and more than the compensation of the General Manager, Peter Gelb.

While giving Levine a 39 percent raise may make sense in some ways, (after all, Levine was overseeing the orchestra, chorus, music staff, and helps with artistic planning and other activities), some are saying the figures on the Met’s tax return tell only part of the story.

According to Philip Boroff at Bloomberg News, revenue has increased with the HD broadcasts, among other things.  However, others are saying there seems to be some fiscal sleight-of-hand at work.

Read When is a Surplus, Not Really a Surplus? Ask the Metropolitan Opera (Harmonie)

“I Never Owned Any Music to Begin With”

Those who wonder when the demise of hard-copy sales of recorded music began need look no further than Emily White.  The NPR intern is likely representative of today’s young music consumer.

 I am an avid music listener, concertgoer, and college radio DJ. My world is music-centric. I’ve only bought 15 CDs in my lifetime. Yet, my entire iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs.

I am not saying this is good or bad, just a different way of consuming music.  The problem is, it means that instead of selling, say, a thousand copies of a recording, an artist sells a hundred.  They then pass through hundreds of hands being loaded into i-Pods, phones, computers, etc.

Read I Never Owned Any Music to Begin With (NPR)

Getting Your Kids to Practice…Without Complaint

With summer upon us, it will be increasingly difficult to get little Susie and Johnny to practice their scales.

Anastasia Tsioulcas, a widely published writer on both classical and world music, is the former North America editor for Gramophone Magazine and the classical music columnist for Billboard. She is also a parent.  According to Tsioulcas, it doesn’t have to be a battle.

Getting Kids to Practice Music – Without Tears or Tantrums (NPR-Deceptive Cadence)

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