The Metropolitan Opera Guild to Streamline Its Operations
August 15th, 2023
Opera News, the Guild’s monthly publication, to come under the editorial direction of the U.K.’s Opera magazine
As the Guild transitions, its largest education program, which brings 12,000 school children to dress rehearsals annually, will continue
New York, NY (August 15, 2023)—Facing economic headwinds, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, a separate independent not-for-profit organization from the Metropolitan Opera, announced today that it will scale back its operations this fall. The Guild’s monthly publication, Opera News, will continue under the editorial direction of the U.K.-based Opera magazine beginning December 2023. In addition, the Met will incorporate the Guild’s largest educational activity—the dress-rehearsal program that each year brings 12,000 school children to the Metropolitan Opera House—into its extensive public-programming offerings. This coming season, the Met’s HD Live in Schools program, a cornerstone of the company’s educational efforts, will operate in nearly 70 school districts across all 50 states. The Guild membership program will continue as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s membership initiatives.
Other Guild activities, including its annual fall luncheon and its spring Opera News Awards, will be discontinued. The Guild will transition from its current status as a standalone not-for-profit, becoming a supporting organization of the Met. The 20 existing Guild employees will be receiving severance packages, although it is hoped that several of them will become Met employees. The Guild’s Board members are being offered positions on the Met Board.
“Ever since its formation by Mrs. August Belmont in 1935, the Metropolitan Opera Guild has served the cause of American opera and the Met. We’re very proud of the Guild’s long record as an educator and supporter of opera in this country. We greatly appreciate the valuable efforts of our employees over the years, but it is no longer economically viable for us to continue in our current form,” said Winthrop Rutherfurd, Jr., and Richard J. Miller, Jr., the Guild’s Chairman and President, respectively. “While this chapter of the Guild is coming to a close, we’re happy that Opera News will continue as an independent voice, albeit in a different format under the editorial leadership of Opera magazine, and we’re pleased that the Guild name will live on with our longstanding student dress-rehearsal program, which has introduced generations of school children to our art form.”
“We are mindful of the rich editorial history of Opera News and are delighted to perpetuate it in a special U.S.-focused section within our pages, which will also keep all our readers worldwide better informed about the Met’s HD and radio broadcasts,” said John Allison, Editor and Publisher of Opera magazine. “With our first such issue in December, we will be increasing our print run to accommodate all the Guild members and current Opera News subscribers in the United States. Coverage of opera at the Met and throughout the United States will continue to be just as comprehensive as Guild members and Opera News subscribers have grown accustomed to over the years.” Opera magazine has named Rebecca Paller as its U.S. editor.
“We’re grateful to the Guild’s leadership, its Board, and its loyal members for their steadfast support of the Met over so many years,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s Maria Manetti Shrem General Manager. “We are proud to keep alive the Guild’s outstanding legacy with the continuation of Opera News and our student dress-rehearsal program.”