Sunday, August 20, 2006

By Any Other Name

The Metropolitan Opera's new text logo in both print and online media has changed with the new Peter Gelb administration. Now, the official line is to call the place "Met Opera" since it is those letters of the official name of the place that have been bolded in all documents issuing from Lincoln Center (see above).

I have heard what's left of the old-guard call the place "The Metropolitan Opera," and for many, many years, the rest of us have affectionately called the house "The Met." Even official radio and TV advertisements, if you remember, adopted this more "user-friendly" name for the house: the announcer would end the thirty second spot with the words "at the MET." One thing I have never heard anyone call this institution, though, is "Met Opera" as the current literature suggests. On the cover of the current issue of Opera News magazine, the house's main propaganda tool, the cover story headline reads "New Direction: Anthony Minghella stages Madama Butterfly at the Met." This opera company is indeed headed into new horizons, but Opera News knows enough about good advertisement to know that the words "the Met" have the necessary gravitas that the words "Met Opera" do not.

I would love it if this got corrected. It's easy. From now on just bold the initial six letters that spell out THE MET, and everything will be solved. At the risk of making this first batch of literature from the house collector's items, please do it right away before more and more people realize the mistake.

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