The MET Orchestra Musicians are horrified by the instances of police brutality and racial injustice that have caused incredible pain for the Black community and unrest in our country. The events of recent weeks have led us to reflect on ways The Metropolitan Opera, as an organization, can make real and lasting changes and how the MET Orchestra Musicians can play a meaningful role in that process.
We appreciate that The Metropolitan Opera has recognized the need to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and that they have expressed a willingness to open conversations going forward about equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB). We stand in agreement with our music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, in his recent statements acknowledging the need for systemic change with regards to EDIB at The Metropolitan Opera. In order for our company to be its best, it must create an inclusive environment where every person – performers, stagehands, staff members, and audience – feels they truly belong.
We recognize there are problems, and we want to be part of the solution. It is our hope The Metropolitan Opera will include The MET Orchestra’s voice in the critical work that is necessary for us to move forward as an institution. Following initial discussions, we have several recommendations, and we encourage The Metropolitan Opera to implement them as soon as possible.
• The Opera must commit to hiring composers and conductors of color in the operatic and symphonic seasons each year.
• The Opera must commit to hiring soloists of color during each Carnegie Hall season.
• The Opera must commit to hiring people of color in upper administration.
• The Opera must adjust its mission to include serving and engaging communities of color.
• The Opera must be inclusive in its engagement with its local community.
• The Opera must commit to an external review of the organization that focuses on issues of EDIB, including concerns regarding equity in employee compensation.
• The Opera must collaborate with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Committee on diversity and inclusion issues.
• The Opera must play a leadership role in encouraging systemic change with regards to EDIB at Lincoln Center.
The MET Orchestra Musicians commit, at this moment in history and in the months and years to come, to doing our part to support this vital cause.