Tera Willis was backstage at the Metropolitan Opera, painstakingly adding strand after strand of salt-and-pepper hair to a half-finished wig — one of dozens she and her team were racing to finish in time for opening night later this month after the pandemic had kept performers from getting measured until mid-August.
“I would love about six months,” Ms. Willis, the head of the company’s wig and makeup department, said. “We have six weeks.”
In the Met’s underground rehearsal rooms, chorus members were straining to project through the masks they must rehearse in, a few pulling the fabric a couple of inches from their face for a moment or two. Just outside its gilded auditorium, which has been empty since the pandemic forced the opera house to close a year and half ago, stagehands were reupholstering some worn red velvet seats. Beneath the arched entry to the opera house, an electrician was installing wiring to make some of the heavy front doors touchless.
Reopening after the long shutdown was never going to be easy for the Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts company in the nation. Unlike a Broadway theater, which must safely bring back one show, the Met, a $300-million-a-year operation, is planning to mount 196 performances of 22 different operas this season, typically changing what’s on its mammoth stage each night.
The financial stakes are high: The Met, which lost $150 million in earned revenues during the pandemic, must now draw audiences back to its...
Read Full Story: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/10/arts/music/met-opera-reopening-pandemic.html
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