After 88 years of passionate service in support of the Metropolitan Opera, the nonprofit Metropolitan Opera Guild will cease to exist in its current form this fall, citing increasing financial pressures. The news was announced by the New York Times.
Founded in 1935 to help the Met survive the Great Depression, the Guild has supported the company and its educational programs for the better part of a century, bringing thousands of school children to dress rehearsals each year in addition to publishing Opera News, one of the leading classical music publications in the United States.
Due to increasing financial struggles, the Guild is now winding down operations, with plans in place for its board members to transfer to the Metropolitan Opera board and severance provided to employees.
Opera News will no longer be a monthly publication, but will instead be folded into the British publication Opera magazine, which will be distributed to current subscribers of Opera News. The publication partnership will begin in December. The Guild will be reclassified as a supporting organization under the Met, with dues likely to be rerouted to the company itself. The Met will have no editorial input on Opera magazine, but will provide a portion of fees paid by Guild members to offset production costs.
The Met has promised to continue several of the Guild's previous efforts, including the schoolchildren dress rehearsal program. Additional updates to follow.