A letter has gone out above the name of Mrs Ann Ziff, $30 million chief benefactor of the Metropolitan Opera, reaffirming her unshakeable faith in general manager Peter Gelb and music director James Levine. Yes, you read that right.
Mrs Ziff finds nothing strange in Gelb’s paranoid attempts to ban critical media from the Met and nothing sufficiently alarming in Levine’s long-term debilitation to declare a search for a successor.
Here’s what she writes:
When Peter Gelb became the Met’s general manager in 2006, he and Music Director James Levine announced a series of visionary initiatives (…). Our goals remain the same today. (..) the Met has offered seven new productions including a groundbreaking new Ring cycle by Robert LePage and a popular world premiere Baroque pastiche opera, The Enchanted Island.
And here’s the vision:
Fortunately for the Met, the cost of mounting new productions over the past six seasons has been fully covered by incremental contributions from the Met’s board members and other donors. These gifts are over and above their annual unrestircted gifts and most of these donors have assured us that they would not make an extra gift for anything other than a new production. My family and I are thrilled to have been able to underwrite the new Ring cycle, in memory of my husband, William Ziff.
Lady, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.