share save 171 16 Metropolitan Opera Dramatically Raises $182 Million in Donations
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The lobby at the Met Opera House, Lincoln Center NYC.

This has been a spectacular year for the Metropolitan Opera House, announcing their record amount in contributions for their 2011 fiscal year. An astonishing $182 million was donated, an over fifty-percent increase since 2010.

Much of this success in fundraising is due in part to the Metropolitan Opera Live HD Series that since its 2006 debut is now broadcasted on 1,600 screens in 54 countries around the globe. For a project that began with just 98 international participating theaters, the Met’s “Live in HD” program is a definite success.

It is difficult not to commend Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager who joined the team during a low point for the Metropolitan Opera House. Gelb understood that in order to turn things around, the culture for enjoying and viewing opera needed to shift with the times. When the main demographic of a particular audience is aging, the Metropolitan Opera needed a solution that was going to keep it from fading as well.

5288672663 4f27a3227d m 150x150 Metropolitan Opera Dramatically Raises $182 Million in DonationsOne of the solutions was the “Live in HD” program. It opened performances to an international market, breaking the limitations of the actual geography of the architectural wonder that is the Met. Opera also became much more accessible in terms of affordability; a trip to the Metropolitan Opera no longer required fare to NYC, formal evening wear and tickets sometimes worth several hundred dollars depending on your seats.

It turns out the world appreciated and welcomed this. Though other theaters lack the acoustics of the arches and the grandeur and opulence of the actual structure, the show being broadcasted live still offered that same magic.

Siegfriend Met Opera Metropolitan Opera Dramatically Raises $182 Million in DonationsA true home for talent, culture and expression, it is necessary that the Met continue to have phenomenal years in donations or risk dissipating. Our economic downturn has led to a severe lack in endowments and the Met has been in debt for some years now.

With the current condition of our world’s economy, we can only hope that Gelb can keep the Met from extinction through his ability to maintain and deliver world-class performances. A reminder to the world that luxuries like performance arts and theater are not luxuries at all but necessities. An irreplaceable means of cultural enrichment, the loss of the Metropolitan Opera would be a major blow to the arts.

The Met “Live in HD” series is going into its sixth season with 11 live transmissions. The series has received both Emmy and Peabody awards. Most tickets in the United States are under $20.

The sixth season for “Live in HD” premiered with the performance of Anna Netrebko in Anna Bolena on October 15.

The Met DON GIOVANNI Metropolitan Opera Dramatically Raises $182 Million in Donations

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni in the timeless interpretation of Mozart's antihero.

Despite the success of the live broadcast in theaters across the world, nothing will compare to a live opera performance at the Met. If you are in New York, it is one you will not want to miss.

Don Giovanni has been getting tons of positive press while the new production of Siegfried will certainly impress. If you have seen either of these please share your tips and recommendations for your readers!