In Wednesday’s (7/15) New York Times , Anthony Tommasini writes, “In the summer of 1967, after the first season at its new Lincoln Center house, the Metropolitan Opera inaugurated its Met in the Parks program, presenting concert performances of complete operas with leading singers and the Met orchestra. Eventually these tours took opera to parks in every borough as well as New Jersey. … This summer the Met in the Parks tours has been replaced with a free Summer Recital Series, six programs of arias and duets accompanied by piano, presented in all five boroughs, which opened on Monday night at SummerStage in Central Park. Starting on Aug. 29, the Met will also present a Summer HD Festival, 10 free screenings of some of the company’s recent productions, first seen on the ‘Live in HD’ series. The screenings will take place in Lincoln Center Plaza. … In a statement Monday, Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said that the weak economy was ‘certainly a factor’ in the company’s decision to scale back its parks offerings, along with ‘our desire to try something new with our outdoor Summer HD Festival.’ He added that the company had made no definite decision about the future of the parks concerts.”

Posted July 15, 2009