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Updated: Despite Sandy, the Met Opera says 'The Tempest' will go on

October 30, 2012|By James C. Taylor
  • Audrey Luna performs the role of Ariel during a dress rehearsal of Thomas Ades' "The Tempest" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Audrey Luna performs the role of Ariel during a dress rehearsal of Thomas… (Ken Howard, AP )

Last week, the Metropolitan Opera presented Thomas Ades’ “The Tempest,” in a new production that used the opera house as a metaphor for the island in the storm. This week, Mother Nature upped director Robert Lepage’s concept by unleashing a tempest of its own onto the island of Manhattan, making Ades’ opera a metaphor for the New York City arts community as it struggles to regroup after the city’s most destructive storm in a generation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the super storm Sandy had shuttered two performances at the Met (Monday’s “Marriage of Figaro” and Tuesday’s “Turandot”), but reached by phone, General Manager Peter Gelb insists that Wednesday night’s “Tempest” will go on.

“There was one window pane that was broken — but that was it,” Gelb said, describing how the Met's landmark 4,000 seat opera house fared in the storm. “The only thing that’s different than before Sandy, ironically, is that we took down the banner for our new production of 'The Tempest.'  But we hope it will be up tomorrow along with the production Wednesday night.”

The Met’s website is selling tickets for Wednesday night’s “Tempest,” as are official sites for most Broadway shows. (Telecharge even shows face value seats selling for Wednesday night’s performance of “The Book of Mormon.")

Updated 5:11 p.m. The Met’s neighbor at Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, announced that its “Rush Hour” concert on Wednesday would be cancelled. 

A spokesman for the orchestra reached at his office said, “Avery Fisher Hall is fine, and Lincoln Center appears to have survived Sandy intact.”

For these large arts organizations in New York, getting audiences into these shows is a hurdle (public transportation is unlikely to be at full capacity for days). The companies needs the large workforce in place to put on performances in the city.

“Since all our artists and workers and their families made it through the storm,” Gelb said, “now my big concern is making up the rehearsal time we lost, since we’ve got another new production (Verdi's "A Masked Ball") opening next week.” 

It’s been only hours since Sandy blew town, but New Yorkers are already at work, proving once again that the show must go on.

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