Of course, the credit crisis (lately compounded, in a bit of irony, by the Obama election) brought things to a head sooner than one might have predicted, but the result itself isn't a surprise.
The short-term fallout is unfortunate, with next season's lineup being completely scrapped. It
was to have included Messiaen's "St. François d’Assise," Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress," Glass's "Einstein on the Beach," Janacek's "Makropulos Case," Britten's "Death in Venice" and Debussy's "Pelléas et Mélisande."Of course, after this mostly modernist season delighted connoisseurs among acres of empty seats, he might well have been fired anyway.
The Met will be doing the Debussy and the Janacek in upcoming years, but I doubt it will ever do Messiaen's opera. Too bad.