Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, LA Phil, AGMA & Other Companies Stand in Support of Black Lives Matter Movement

By Francisco Salazar

Over the weekend, a number of opera companies, orchestras, concert halls , and guilds used their social media accounts to take a stand and support the #BlackLivesMatter movement amid ongoing nationwide protests after the the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

On Sunday May 31, the Lyric Opera of Chicago stated, “We stand in support of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and all those who search for it. Lyric is a proud member of Enrich Chicago—an arts-led movement to undo racism.”

Meanwhile, the Maryland Lyric Opera posted that “we are committed to equality, diversity, inclusion and justice. We are committed to celebrating life, beauty, and all lives in this world. We welcome artists and audiences of all backgrounds, all ethnicities, all orientations and world-views. What we do not welcome and what we passionately denounce is racism and bigotry of any kind. It is detestable and it stands against everything we believe in and cherish as an organization.”

The LA Philharmonic also lent its voice stating “From Marian Anderson on the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial to Nina Simone’s blister anthems against oppression, musicians have shone a light on injustice in America. The LA Phil stands agains racism and inequity. We stand for inclusion. We stand for compassion.”

The NY Philharmonic reposted Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill’s moving musical tribute stating, “The New York Philharmonic fully supports our Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill’s moving statement and video in response to the ongoing violence committed against communities of color. We post this in outrage and sadness over what has occurred in Minnesota and beyond, and for what has been a part of this nation’s history. We post this in solidarity to remind ourselves that America can and should be better than this. We cannot remain silent.”

Carnegie Hall also took a stand writing, “Carnegie Hall stands in solidarity with all who seek to eradicate racism, violence, and injustice, and we salute those using their platform to inspire change.”

The American Guild of Musical Artists also voiced support for the movement noting that the organization is made up of diverse artists who “put beauty into the world by coming together in union to create tremendous works of opera, dance, and song.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra also voiced its support stating “We mourn and we stand in solidarity with our community and with Black musicians, board members, staff, patrons, and partners of The Philadelphia Orchestra.”

Update: The Metropolitan Opera stated, “There is no place for racism in the arts. There is no place for racism in New York City. There is no place for racism in this country or in the world. The Met stands with those raising their voices in support of justice and equality.


Meanwhile the Long Beach Opera noted, “we believe that arts organizations and artists can and should create art that exposes the brutalities and inequities within our society. We also believe that sometimes we must make a concerted effort to make space and listen to the voices of those that are experiencing suffering and oppression. We must always strive to become better warriors of justice and understanding in the fight for change. We turn to art in times of struggle to connect with our communal humanity.”

The LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, the Dallas Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Omaha, Opera Theatre od Saint Louis, Bard Center, and Berkshire Festival have released statements.