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August 19, 2009
Metropolitan Opera ticket sales setting records...

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Something curious is happening as the worm turns towards the 2009-10 concert season at the Metropolitan Opera.

Ticket sales are booming.

That much is clear with the Met announcing this week that it has set a new record for opening day sales at the box office. The box office bonanza, to the tune of $2.5 million, began when single tickets for the 2009-10 season went on sale Monday.

Total sales reached $2,506,000 as compared to $2,016,000 on the equivalent day last season ($2,085,000 in tickets were sold on the opening day in 2007, the previous past record.)

The company's 34-week season opens on September 21 with a new production of Puccini's "Tosca", with soprano Karita Mattila in the title role. The 2009-10 season is the first fully planned season by General Manager Peter Gelb and conductor James Levine.

That season is distinguished by eight new productions, the most since the 1966-67, season. However, it is also marked by the company scuttling John Corigliano's lavish opera "Ghosts of Versailles" because of financial reasons.

The Met reported that its box office sales for the 2008-09 season met the company;s target of being at 88% of total capacity. It's box office sales have increased since the 2006-07 season. That increase followed six years of declining ticket sales.

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