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Making Opera Accessible to All

Standing ovationDo you remember your first live opera performance?

Some are fortunate to have had a beloved relative take them to a performance. Yet many find their way to the Met through our programs that make live opera accessible to students, those just starting their careers, or individuals living on fixed incomes.

One of our signature initiatives is our Rush Tickets program, which offers discounted tickets to all Met performances. Launched by Agnes Varis in 2006, the program is one of the Met’s primary audience development efforts. It is open to all demographics and has no age limitations. Since its inception, an average of 4,000 new ticket buyers per season have been added to the Met’s database. An average of 25% of these new ticket buyers have gone on to purchase full-price tickets that same season.

This program is a crucial part of the Met’s work to attract new and diverse audiences by providing an allotment of discounted tickets for every opera. Between 20,000 and 30,000 Rush Tickets have been made available each season, with a minimum of 100 tickets available for weekday performances and 20 tickets for each weekend performance.

Another popular initiative is Met Opera Students, which offers college and graduate students discounted tickets to the Met and to The Met: Live in HD performances in movie theaters, as well as invitations to artist lectures, discounts at the Met Opera Shop, and the opportunity to meet fellow young opera lovers. The program has a global reach: Nearly 14,000 members from over 2,000 universities in 241 countries are enjoying opera in a way that works for their schedules and budgets.

This season, both Rush Tickets and Met Opera Students took on a new level of importance. Both helped the Met rebuild its audience when we reopened in September 2021 after more than 18 months of our stage being dark. These thriving programs helped ensure our base of opera lovers continued to grow, fulfilling the Met’s vision of operatic excellence for all to enjoy.

Another key building block of the Met is securing a strong financial future for the company, and a meaningful way to help contribute to this is by establishing a gift to the Met in your estate plan. Gifts such as a bequest in your will or trust, a beneficiary designation, or a life income gift like our pooled income fund or a charitable remainder trust allow us to serve every opera lover, now and far into the future.

If you are interested in supporting the future of the Met in this way, please contact Pamela Bennett at 212-870-7388 or encoresociety@metopera.org to learn more.