2023年3月9日 星期四

Pandemic Woes Lead Met Opera to Tap Endowment and Embrace New Work 疫情重創 大都會歌劇院動用老本 轉攻當代歌劇

【會計研究月刊電子報】為您建立以簡馭繁的思考邏輯,解讀會計、財務、金融等趨勢走向,掌握財經專業脈動! 【阿布拉電子報】分享文學性、藝術性與兒童性兼具的兒童繪本,並希望透過繪本和你一起發現孩子的世界。
★ 無法正常瀏覽內容,請按這裡線上閱讀
新聞  健康  u值媒  udn部落格  
2023/03/10 第423期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Pandemic Woes Lead Met Opera to Tap Endowment and Embrace New Work 疫情重創 大都會歌劇院動用老本 轉攻當代歌劇
Defenses Carved Into the Earth 深掘地表之下的防禦工事
Pandemic Woes Lead Met Opera to Tap Endowment and Embrace New Work 疫情重創 大都會歌劇院動用老本 轉攻當代歌劇
文/Javier C. Hernández

疫情重創 大都會歌劇院動用老本 轉攻當代歌劇

Hit hard by a cash shortfall and lackluster ticket sales as it tries to lure audiences back amid the pandemic, the Metropolitan Opera said that it would withdraw up to $30 million from its endowment, give fewer performances next season and accelerate its embrace of contemporary works, which, in a shift, have been outselling the classics.


The dramatic financial and artistic moves show the extent to which the pandemic and its aftermath continue to roil the Met, the premier opera company in the United States.


"The challenges are greater than ever," said Peter Gelb, the Met's general manager. "The only path forward is reinvention."


Nonprofit organizations try to dip into their endowments only as a last resort, since the funds are meant to grow over time while producing a steady source of investment income. The Met's endowment, which was valued at $306 million, was considered small for an institution of its size. This season it is turning to the endowment to cover operating expenses, and to help offset weak ticket sales and a cash shortfall that emerged as some donors were reluctant to accelerate pledged gifts amid the stock market downturn. As more cash gifts materialize, the company hopes to replenish the endowment.


To further cut costs, the company, which is giving 215 performances this season, is planning to reduce the number of performances next season by close to 10%.


The Met's decision to stage significantly more contemporary operas is a remarkable turnabout for the company, which largely avoided newer works for many decades because its conservative audience base seemed to prefer war horses like Giacomo Puccini's "La Bohème," Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida" and Georges Bizet's "Carmen."


But as the Met staged more new work in recent years, that dynamic has begun to shift, a change that has grown more pronounced since the pandemic: While attendance has been generally anemic, contemporary works including Terence Blanchard's "Fire Shut Up in My Bones" last season and Kevin Puts' "The Hours" this season drew sellout crowds.


From now on, Gelb said, the Met will open each season with a new production of a contemporary work.


Gelb said that the company's change in strategy was possible in part because major stars are increasingly interested in performing music by living composers.



Defenses Carved Into the Earth 深掘地表之下的防禦工事
文/Marco Hernandez、Josh Holder


Near one of the deadliest front lines of the war in Ukraine, a vast complex of trenches, traps and other obstacles has sprung up in recent months.


The fortifications were built by Russia to slow Ukraine from trying to take Popasna, a town Russia captured in May. They are just a tiny part of an immense Russian defensive network spreading across Ukraine, a New York Times analysis of satellite radar data shows.


These structures could buy Russia crucial time to mobilize and train additional troops to regain momentum in the war. But Ukraine may test Russia's ability to hold these positions over the winter.


Trenches are not new to Ukraine. Trench warfare has long been a feature of the battle in eastern Ukraine for the Donbas region. Ukrainians fight from their own trenches on their side of the line near Popasna, where Russians are waging an intense campaign to dislodge Ukrainian troops from the city of Bakhmut.


But the pace and the scale of Russian construction over the past couple of months is unmatched.


The fortifications show how Russia's military is trying to set up more robust, defensible positions against Ukrainian pressure, often with the help of natural obstacles like rivers.


Last November, Ukraine recaptured a large amount of territory in the south, including the regional capital of Kherson, pushing Russian forces across the Dnieper River. The river serves as a natural barrier, and Russia has built an enormous series of defensive obstacles south of the river to discourage Ukraine from crossing it.


Among the defenses are miles-long rows of concrete pyramids known as dragon's teeth and deep ditches called tank traps. Both are designed to slow Ukrainian vehicles and force them into preset positions where Russian forces can target them.


Russia is also building miles of trenches, and pillboxes — small structures for their troops to shoot from.


The fortifications could slow Ukraine's army — but they are effective only if manned correctly.


If the positions are unmanned, they are useful only if there is an orderly Russian retreat, one of the most difficult tactical operations to conduct, said Philip Wasielewski, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.



用信任凝聚團隊力 新世代團隊的「信任領導」

醫療險理賠 新服務幫大忙
  免費電子報 | 著作權聲明 | 隱私權聲明 | 聯絡我們