One doesn’t usually associate the Metropolitan Opera with thought control or antagonism to free speech. After all, who pays much attention to what goes on in an opera house save for a few semi-demented diehards like me. For the past 15 years an opera fan, Brad Wilbur, has run a website devoted to puzzles and the future programming of the Metropolitan opera which he called Met Futures.
At the “request” of Sharon Grubin, the Met’s general counsel Wilbur has taken down his site. Wilbur a reference librarian apparently didn’t wish to fight the Met’s Opera Nazis over his obvious right to free speech. He certainly would have won; his sources were readily available, the Met is a tax exempt charitable organization. He wasn’t publishing national secrets. If he were he might have garnered a Pulitzer Prize. But he likely didn’t want a legal fight with an organization that has big pockets filled with other people’s money. What the Met was thinking when it did this is hard to fathom; check that, they obviously weren’t thinking.