But the filming is emblematic of the Met's future reign, in the person of Peter Gelb, who made his mark in the classical recording industry partly with crossover projects and movie soundtracks. Mr. Gelb takes over the Met next year as general manager but has been working this season alongside Joseph Volpe, the incumbent. The shoot also offers hints of how these strong-willed impresarios are working together.
Mr. Gelb ran the Met's media department, overseeing television productions, in the years before his stint at Sony Classical. He has not hidden his desire to bring more mainstream culture into the house, including ventures into film, musical theater and even pop. At the same time, opera houses are grasping at any means to nudge people into seats in an era when classical music executives feel that their art form is ever more at the margins of society.Well, that may be. (Though, as I've said, I think narrowcasting and niche appeal is the future of pretty much every cultural business -- something essential for their leaders to grasp.) But the Met in a movie is a far cry from a movie at the Met. The sky is not yet showing cracks, much less falling.
(Of course even Volpe, here rightly concerned with protecting the Met Opera brand, allowed for a nice fee the MTV Video Music Awards to be held at the house.)