(Credit: Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera)
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is speaking out about the cancellation of the 2020-21 season.
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Committee released a statement saying, “After being furloughed without pay for six months, we are concerned for our members and their families as they navigate what will now be over a year without economic support from the Met. Furthermore, we are devastated that the Met has not found ways to engage the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during this closure – especially when the Met Stars series shows that there is a possibility for collaboration.”
The committee continued by referring to other companies stating, “Many orchestras across the country are performing in adapted ways, continuing to connect to their valued audience members and communities. Simply stating that labor costs must be cut is not a solution or plan for the future; especially in light of the fact that no labor costs have been paid by the Met over the last six months.”
“Great artistic institutions cannot cut their way to success. This leadership approach only further jeopardizes the Met’s credibility and artistic integrity with our audiences. With the Met at risk of artistic failure, we will insist on a contract that preserves the world-class status of the Met Orchestra so that when we are able to reopen, our audiences will be able to experience performances at the level that they expect and deserve.”
The Metropolitan Opera shuttered its doors on March 12, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. The company had initially planned on reopening on Dec. 31, 2020, after having canceled its fall season. With no 2020-21 season, orchestra members will be left without work until September of 2021.