Exclusive: The Met lays off its orchestra and chorusmain
Peter Gelb has notified musicians of the Met orchestra and chorus that their employment is suspended from March 12.
Invoking the Force Majeure clause in their contracts, he has agreed to pay two weeks’ wages up to the end of this month. Healthcare and instrument insurance will, however, be continued.
The force majeure clause dates back to the 1960s and has never been invoked before.
This is an exceptionally brutal measure at a time of unprecendented vulnerability for the musicians, most of whom are now self-isolating.
The Met has made no public announcement, and other media seem unaware of this dire development. Not a peep from Yannick.
The musicians are starting a campaign called #MusicConnectsUs, which you can find on Facebook metorchestramusicans and elsewhere on social media. Let’s do what we can to show solidarity.
This measure will raise alarms at every salaried orchestra on earth.
UPDATE1: Now Canada
UPDATE2: And Australia
UPDATE3: Peter Gelb waives his salary