Met Opera’s Credit Rating Is Downgraded

The Metropolitan Opera’s decision to once again use its monumental Chagall murals (pictured) as collateral for loans was one of the factors Moody’s Investors Service cited on Monday when it downgraded the company’s credit rating, noting the company’s “weakened financial profile.” The ratings downgrade was the latest evidence of the financial travails of the Met, the nation’s largest performing arts organization: The company, which won concessions from its unions last summer after a bitter labor battle, ran an estimated $22 million deficit last year — one of its biggest on record — and has faced box-office struggles in recent years. Moody’s cited the Met’s deficit, its relatively low level of cash on hand, and its recent high rates of spending from its endowment as some of the reasons for downgrading the company’s credit rating.

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