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Subject: Re: the real final night at the old Met 1966
From: Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:03:43 -0400

text/plain (55 lines)

A renovation to permanently remove the Family Circle would be very
expensive. Although the Met no longer routinely sells out, there ARE times
it does, and on those occasions the revenue from those seats would no
longer be available. So, the net effect of this proposal is to spend a lot
of money on a renovation that reduces revenue on the best nights, and also
robs the theater of its most affordable seats. I could see the argument for
building a smaller theater in the first place, but it's hard to see the
benefits of making that change now.

The small 1,500-seat "mini Met" was much talked-about in James Levine's
heyday, but he was unable to make it happen. The reasons ought to be
obvious. Opera does not make money anywhere. The only question is how you
cover the deficits: government subsidies in Europe, deep-pocketed donors
here. So, exactly how would this put the Met in "greater financial health"?
No, it would mean they have two money-losing theaters to pay for, rather
than one.

On Sat, Jun 9, 2018 at 2:08 AM Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> ...they could do away with the Family
> Circle and have the Balcony being the last ring.  It would move the rear
> wall of the theatre about 75 feet closer to the proscenium.  I don't know
> how it would affect acoustics but I'd venture not much.  This would
> probably bring capacity down at least 500 seats. to approximately the size
> of San Francisco (The Lyric of Chicago is a huge theater seating almost
> 3600 and in volume is probably as big as the New Met - its more of a
> modified almost fan/shoe box shape.
> The other option, one I have always felt would work is taking the little
> used Damrosch Park and Band Shell and building a smaller auditorium
> attached to the Met.  A theater of 1500 or so seats which would be perfect
> for Baroque, Classical and early Romantic Opera and also a fine concert
> venue.....I
> believe with such a venue, the Met would be in greater financial health
> then they currently are.  They could be more adventurous and not worry
> about having to constantly sell 3800 seats.  So, reduce the size of the
> current theatre by eliminating the Family Circle and build a smaller
> theatre for more intimate productions and concerts.

Marc Shepherd
New York, NY

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