Met Blames Declining Contributions for Debt

The Metropolitan Opera says its financial deficit this fiscal year will be "significantly larger" than the $2.8 million loss it incurred last year.

That's according to a financial disclosure document uncovered by The Wall Street Journal. Jennifer Maloney, an arts reporter for the paper, says the prediction is consistent with the financial distress the company's been claiming in contract negotiations with 15 of its unions.

Maloney said the document was filed last week with the Met's bond holders, as an update on its finances.

"We shouldn't be surprised that they're reporting a deficit," she told WNYC. "What's interesting to me is that in this disclosure, they say that the reason for the latest deficit is a drop in charitable contributions." Last year, by contrast, the company attributed its deficit to a number of factors, including lower ticket sales.

There's currently a lull in contract negotiations, as an independent financial analyst reviews the company's finances. The Met and two of its unions have also agreed to a one-week contract extension while the analyst conducts the review.

With the Associated Press