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Met Opera, Reeling From Cyberattack, Will Sell Tickets on New Site

Three days after a cyberattack first paralyzed its website and box office, the Metropolitan Opera on Friday announced that it would sell $50 tickets to some performances on a site run by Lincoln Center.

The Met, in a brief note posted on social media, said it would offer the general admission tickets as it worked to fully restore its computer systems, which have been down since Tuesday morning. The company has proceeded with performances of several operas this week, including “Aida” and “The Hours,” but the Met has been unable to sell any new tickets, including in its last-minute rush ticket program.

“We appreciate your patience through this difficult time as we work to resolve the issue and resume full operations,” the note said.

The attack has wreaked havoc as the Met prepares for a string of holiday productions. At this time of year, the company’s ticketing systems typically handle about $200,000 in sales each day.

Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said it could be several more days before the Met’s ticketing site is fully restored. The attack has also sidelined the company’s internal networks, including its payroll system.

“It takes time, because when you have been hacked, you have to be sure that whatever functions are going back online are not going to be compromised,” he said.

Gelb said the Met was still investigating who had carried out the attack and assessing the damage.

Separately, the Musikverein, a concert hall in Vienna, posted a message this week saying its website was unavailable. “We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to be able to provide our usual service as soon as possible,” the Musikverein said.

The cyberattack comes at a difficult time for the Met, which is still working to recover from the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic and lure back audiences. Attendance is well below prepandemic levels.

“At a time when you’re trying to get more people interested in opera and attending your performances, it’s incredibly frustrating,” Gelb said. “We all want the same thing, which is to make it easier for people to attend performances, not more difficult.”

The Met will offer $50 tickets for three upcoming performances of Verdi operas: “Rigoletto” on Sunday and Wednesday, and “Aida” on Tuesday. Since the Met cannot connect to its ticketing system to see which seats have already been sold, the $50 seats will be general admission. Customers who buy the tickets will be given empty seats in the orchestra section on a first-come, first-served basis immediately before curtain.

Tickets are being sold on www.lincolncenter.org/metopera.

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