Saturday, March 30, 2013

Meaningless Opera Statistic of the Day

" [P]ayroll for 3,400 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees [at the Metropolitan opera] eats up 75 percent of the Met’s $330 million annual operating budge."
 That pencils out to $72,794.12 per person per year, which I admit, is about as useful an average as you'd get from adding up and then dividing the total of all their license plate numbers.  That's from Erik Madigan Heck's arch, chirrupy and mostly noncommital New York Times profile of Peter Gelb, the Met's (himself very high-profile) general manager.  A better takeaway: in his earlier years, Gelb served as chief roady for the pianist Vladimir Horowitz (Gelb's job included assuring that the great man had Dover sole for dinner every night):
Not long before Horowitz died, he called Gelb and told him he was like family now and he didn’t have to call him “Mr. Horowitz,” he could call him “Maestro.”
I'd say this has all the earmarks of an anecdote made up by a publicist, but cute enough anyway.


Davee said...

That doesn't sound like a lot, especially in NYC, and especially when you figure it takes at least $100K to pay someone $80, after health care, employer's share of FICA, etc. And isn't that in line with most nonprofit: 75-80% on personnel?

Taxmom said...

I'm thinking this is a statistic where the median v. the mean might provide some useful information.

Buce said...

Very likely a bimodal, perhaps trimodal, distribution, with Susan Graham and her pals disporting themselves in the clouds like Athena and her pals in Homer; and then all those guys with strong upper bodies and stronger union contracts; and then the gaggle of lumpen scratching for a way to hang on.

Anonymous said...

do they still have a teamster union guy (or woman now) who gets a salary for a few minutes of hard labor a performance. a big salary for a very little job?