Today, July 31th of 2014 is a day that all of us, Opera lovers are extremely worried.
We are just a few hours to know if the Metropolitan Opera House of New York City, the most famous Opera House in the world to have a serious blockout that could affect the Arts, culture and economy of not only New York City but the entire United States.
Contract deadlines for 15 of the 16 unions at the Met in New York are set to expire at midnight tonight and it’s unclear to know if negotiations (right now, while I am writing in this blog, in this moment) between Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera and the Unions are reaching an agreement.
A lockout shutting down the Metropolitan Opera House (The world’s largest opera house) seems imminent and it would be catastrophic.
Imagine what would happen if the blockout starts today, at 12:00 AM, August 1th of 2014?
America would not only lose a fantastic new Opera season 2014-2015 (with new productions of classic titles like Le Nozze di Figaro, Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, The Merry Widow, Macbeth, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Bluebeard’s Castle, just to name a few) but it would affect the economy to the city, hotels and restaurants. And also the lives of many great, hard working people, like the costume and makeup artists, the hard working people who light the sets, singers, dancers and musicians will be out of job.
Live without Art it would be like live without air, without breathing, without water.
Opera is the greatest of all Arts, literature, music, dance, theatrer, drama, all together and without it, it would be like, drinking an empty glass of wine (without the wine, of course) and life would not have any meaning at all.
The Arts, specially Opera is important for all of us, called, civilized human beings and without it, we will drown into darkness. Music saves our lives and many wonderful operas (with their many wonderful and different stories) educate us, gives us lessons of humanity and philosophy. In Wagner’s brilliant Ring Cycle, we learn that even the Gods, like Wotan, make terrible decisions that cause many disasters for the future, in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, we learn about the human soul, the good one, the noble one and the selfish one, a man who kills his best friend and denies his own happiness for selfish acts. In Dvorak’s “Rusalka” we learn about the meaning of true love. In Puccini’s La Boheme, we learn that a person is not poor if (in this case, Mimi) that person is surrounded by love and friends, even in the worst of times, in illness and death. In Verdi’s Otello, we feel the Shakespearean tragedy more real than in any film adaptation. And there are more, Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Carlo, Elektra, Boris Godunov, Faust, Manon Lescaut, Les Troyens, Pelléas et Mélisande, Billy Budd and Der Fliegende Holländer just to name a few, those operas are vital for humanity. If the blockout starts today, it would be the second american tragedy after when many public schools cutted down the Fine Arts education.
Please, for the love of humanity… don’t let this happen!