Rumors that the venerable Metropolitan Opera Guild, founded in 1935, and its publication Opera News were foundering have been circulating for months. Finally, in mid-August the hammer fell. The New York Times tried to put a pleasing spin on the event, pointing out that the guild, which did an immense amount to enlarge the audience for serious opera, would not exactly cease, but would rather be folded into the clutches of the Metropolitan Opera and its long-serving director Peter Gelb while Opera News subscribers would find the British publication Opera showing up in their mailboxes starting in December. The collapse was attributed to financial woes, of which there are plenty in the world of serious music. We don’t doubt that money, or rather the lack of it, played an important role. At the same time, we sense an almost Machiavellian sequence of moves unfolding behind the scene. Whatever the ultimate cause of its demise, the guild will be much missed by opera lovers across the country.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 42 Number 1, on page 2
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