The Met and its Orchestra Reach Agreement, Providing a Path to September Reopening

Free Performances of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony Added to Pre-season in Damrosch Park on September 4 and 5

 New Met Orchestra Chamber Music Series at Carnegie Hall and in Neighborhood Venues to Begin with the New Season

New York, NY (August 24, 2021)—A new collective bargaining agreement between the Metropolitan Opera and its orchestra, the last of the Met’s three largest unions to reach an agreement, was ratified today. To commemorate the occasion, the Met has announced two free, pre-season performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” to take place in Damrosch Park at 8:00pm ET on Saturday, September 4, and Sunday, September 5. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct the Met Orchestra and Chorus, joined by soloists soprano Ying Fang and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.

While the economic details of the new deal with the orchestra are not being provided, there is now a clearer path to the opening of the Met’s 2021–22 season on September 27 with the scheduled Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which will be the first opera to appear on the Met’s stage in eighteen months. One part of the new agreement with the orchestra calls for the creation of an annual chamber music series of six concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, also beginning this fall, with corresponding performances as part of Carnegie’s Citywide program of free concerts. The new series is an initiative of Mr. Nézet-Séguin, who was inspired by the orchestra’s entrepreneurial efforts during the long shutdown.

“The members of the Met’s great orchestra have been through Herculean challenges during the sixteen months of the shutdown, as we struggled to keep the company intact,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager. “Now, we look forward to rebuilding and returning to action.”

“The pandemic has caused pain and suffering for so many people, and in ways that will remain forever. And while we as musicians cannot make that pain go away, our art form is special in that it can provide moments of healing and catharsis to a spirit in need,” said Mr. Nézet-Séguin. “To be able to perform Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony as the first performances back together with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus is not just a moment of revival for us, but a gift of hope and rebirth to New York City.”

The two Mahler performances are being made possible by generous donations from Met board members Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer and Ann Ziff for the members of the orchestra in honor of Mr. Nézet-Séguin, who had urged support for the orchestra during the period when they were unpaid. Mr. Nézet-Séguin holds the title of Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director.

Both concerts are free and open to the public, with approximately 2,500 seats set up next to the Metropolitan Opera House in Damrosch Park. General-admission seating will open one hour before each presentation on a first-come-first-served basis.

Reserved seating is also available via the TodayTix lottery by entering for a chance to win up to two free reserved seats. Lottery winners must arrive at least ten minutes before show time to guarantee their seats. Enter the lottery through the TodayTix app or by calling Lincoln Center Guest Services at 212.875.5456.

The concerts will be canceled in the event of rain. Canceled concerts will not be rescheduled.

Please note that these performances will be seated at full capacity without social distancing. All guests (aged 2+) are required to wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, all guests (aged 12+) will be required to provide proof of full vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of the event. For greater detail, please click here. 

The concerts are a part of Lincoln Center’s Restart Stages, an outdoor performance initiative to kickstart the performing arts and New York City’s revival. The concerts replace the previously announced screenings of Mozart’s Così fan tutte on Saturday, September 4, and Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment on Sunday, September 5, as part of the Met’s Summer HD Festival. The Friday, September 3, screening of Massenet’s Manon has also been canceled to accommodate preparations for the concerts.

The Met Orchestra Chamber Ensemble will perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on the following dates (artists and programs will be announced at a later date): Sunday, October 10 at 2:00pm ET; Sunday, November 21 at 7:30pm ET; Monday, January 24 at 7:30pm ET; Tuesday, February 1 at 7:30pm ET; Monday, February 7 at 7:30pm ET; and Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm ET.