Nouveau Riche or Never Better?

Surprisingly, the Metropolitan Opera still holds a lowly position in the minds of many old-school European opera fans, who look at the New York institution as little more than a plaything for ultrarich Manhattanites. But if such views were once at least founded in truth, they have little to do with what the Met has become in modern times. True, money is still a big factor in its success, as it is for any opera company not subsidized by a government (as all those old-school European operations are,) but fiscal largesse aside, many critics now believe that the Met offers the best, most consistent operatic product to be found anywhere in the world.