You do what you gotta do in tough times. The Metropolitan Opera, facing its own pressures in the economic downturn, has already scaled back some plans for next season. The rest of this season may not be bringing in the cash once anticipated. ("Sold out" ads for the company are not as frequent as they seemed to be last year. I was surprised to see some empty seats for a matinee of Adriana Lecouvreur with Placido Domingo in the cast when I was there a couple of weekends ago.)
Now comes news that the huge, glorious Chagall paintings that grace the lobby of the opera house have been put up for collateral as part of a loan taken out to make up for cash-flow shortages.
(Thanks to musicalamerica.com for alerting me to the story.)