Revolution is afoot at the Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera house, which has been plagued in recent years by declining attendance and budget woes.
Peter Gelb, who takes over in August as the Met's first new general manager in 16 years, has laid out broad-ranging plans to remake the venerable house, sharply increasing the number of new productions, commissioning more and different kinds of new works, bringing in a wave of high-profile theater and film directors and striding into the world of digital transmission.
Mr. Gelb's program calls for a collaboration with Lincoln Center Theater that will engage Hollywood directors like Anthony Minghella and Broadway directors like George C. Wolfe, as well as musical figures like the theater composers Michael John LaChiusa and Adam Guettel and the jazz musician Wynton Marsalis. Major conductors who have never appeared at the Met will make debuts, including Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim and Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Met will install a gallery for works by contemporary painters, extending its reach into the visual arts. The artists include John Currin, Richard Prince and Sophie von Hellerman.
Mr. Gelb said he wanted to embrace new technology. Performances will be broadcast nationwide in high-definition movie theaters and made available through downloading, if agreements can be reached with the house's unions. CD's and DVD's could follow.