Samuel Schultz Calls Out Metropolitan Opera & Susan Graham for ‘Dead Man Walking’

By Francisco Salazar

Baritone Samuel Schultz is calling out the Metropolitan Opera for opening the season with “Dead Man Walking” and casting Susan Graham.

Schultz took to social media and said, “The Metropolitan Opera opens this season with Dead Man Walking, an opera that explores a nun’s push to remove the death penalty for a convicted rapist/murderer. In the story, the victims are killed after being raped, and their voices are never given a chance to be heard.”

He added, “Cast as the mother of the rapist/murderer is Susan Graham, a well-known opera star who has victim-shamed me as she defends her friend, rapist David Daniels. In addition, the Met has a shrine of sorts – a photo wall of opera luminaries who have graced The Met stage over the decades. This wall includes well-known (and even convicted) sexual predators. The Met must re-examine its dedication to predators: Levine, Domingo, Daniels… to name a few. And it must rethink its approach to opening this season with a piece that gives voice to a rapist/murderer, yet gives no voice to the victims of such crimes.”

Scultz’s comments come days before the Met is set to open its 2023-24 season. They also come weeks after David Daniels posted that he had received offers to return to the stage in Europe and many industry professionals congratulated Daniels on his return. The post created controversy within the opera industry with Daniels taking it down.

Last season the Metropolitan Opera changed its wall and only included the performers currently at the Met including singers, directors, and orchestra members.