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October 02, 2014

Moody's Mulls Downgrade of Metropolitan Opera's Credit

The Metropolitan Opera's weak finances might earn the country's largest performing-arts organization a credit downgrade from Moody's Investors Service, Bloomberg reports. In a report Wednesday, the ratings agency cited "softening" operational and gift income in reviewing its grade on the opera's $100-million debt and said donors' willingness to give more "will remain a key factor for the credit."

Met management pointed to shrinking revenue in seeking to cut labor costs significantly in contentious contract talks with its singers, stagehands, and other unionized workers this summer. Federally mediated agreements, reached just in time to avert a cancellation of the 2014-15 season, include steep reductions in both labor and administrative expenses.