By Jennifer Glickel
LINCOLN CENTER — The Metropolitan Opera proudly announced last week that the average age of their audience members had dropped from 65 to 57 over the last five years — but those numbers were, in fact, not accurate, according to the New York Times.
Peter Gelb has been at the helm of The Met as general manager for the past five years, and it was Gelb who was given the misinformation, the paper reported.
After the opera house was asked to provide materials supporting the age drop, a spokesman for the Met told the Times that actually, the average age of subscribers had dropped from 66.4 in 2005 to 64.8 in 2011, not from 65 to 57.
The average age of audience members overall, including single ticket buyers and subscribers, dropped from 60.4 to 57.7.
The Met still views these numbers as a good thing, as it indicates a general three-year drop in average audience member age, the Times wrote.
The statistics were collected from an e-mail survey the opera house sent to 75,000 audience members in 2005 that included both subscribers and single-ticket buyers, the paper reported. That year 21 percent of subscribers and 19 percent of single-ticket buyers responded to the survey.
A similar survey that was sent out in 2011 to 179,000 ticket buyers returned a similar percentage of responses from subscribers (22.6 percent), but only 4 percent of single-ticket buyers responded this time, according to the Times.