May 22, 2014

The Top 10 Ways Peter Gelb is Trying to Cut Down on Expenses

It's no secret: the Metropolitan Opera is in big, big trouble. Labor negotiations are apparently going to resemble the conflict between Kashmir and Pakistan. Individual chorus members make a yearly salary of 75 million dollars a year (I looked it up) and are LOATHE, LOATHE, I tell you, to accept one penny less. The Met's endowment has foolishly been frittered away on Little Debbie snack cakes (those choristers also have a sweet tooth), and the whole kit and kaboodle is pretty much going to hell in a handbasket.


But never fear! Embattled General Manager Peter Gelb has a PLAN, people. He's taking FIRM, DECISIVE ACTION to confront this crisis and steady the ship. Yay! At our regular Tuesday night bowling date here in Newport News, Pete (I call him Pete) shared with me the outline of his plan. So put THESE in your pipe and smoke 'em:

Top 10 Ways Peter Gelb is Trying to Cut Down on Expenses

10.  Instead of costly pianists, rehearsals will be accompanied with karaoke tracks.

9.   Following the lead of the Boston Red Sox, no more fried chicken and beer in the Green Room. 

8.   Pictoral calendars featuring "Contraltos of The Met" will be on sale in the lobby during intermission. (psst - check out Ms. October!)

7.   Starting immediately, vocal artists will no longer sing boring recitatives, which will now be performed by audience volunteers. Pay cuts commensurate with reduced minutes of actual singing.

6.   Instead of prompters, singers will be allowed to carry iPads displaying their words onstage with them.

5.   Goodbye expensive and boring costumes; we're going down the street and pick up a few of THESE puppies:

photo courtesy of Nicholas Gemini
4.   Verdi's I Due Foscari will have only one Foscari. (Yeah, yeah, I've used this joke before. So what? You got a problem? It's a quality gag.)

3.   Salome? Three veils and that's IT. (Oh yeah, I'm on a roll now...)

2.   Supertitles will now be produced by Twitter, resulting in an efficient rendering not to exceed 144 characters.

1.  If all else fails, sure-fire fail-safe rescue plan: hit up the San Diego Opera Company for a loan!


  1. A wonderful article. I enjoy your clever humor!!!

  2. I am sorry I was stupid enough to read this stupidity. You and Pete...what a team!