NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Metropolitan Opera has announced a new opening date of December 31, 2020 after deciding to cancel the first few months of its 2020-2021 season.
The company announced the decision on Monday afternoon based on the latest information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Given the enormous organizational complexity of the Met's schedule, we have no choice but to cancel our fall season," General Manager Peter Gelb said. "The health and safety of our company members and our audience is our top priority, and it is simply not feasible to return to the opera house for a September opening while social distancing remains a requirement."
Officials said the new season will begin with a special gala performance.
The Met said certain performances like Mozart's "Die Zauberflte" and "Don Giovanni" will adapted or rescheduled due to lack of time for necessary staging and technical preparations.
The company will present additional performances of Puccini's "La Bohme," Bizet's "Carmen," and Verdi's "La Traviata" during the month of February, when the house was previously scheduled to be dark.
Also, in anticipation of changing audience expectations, the Met has moved up its evening curtain times to 7 p.m. whenever possible and is considering the shortening of some performance running times.
The Met is waiving all exchange fees for tickets purchased for the 2020-21 season.