Met musicians demand equality reforms

Met musicians demand equality reforms


norman lebrecht

June 10, 2020

The musicians have responded to the Met’s statement on Black Lives Matter with these specific demands:

• 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.




  • MDR says:

    I see no demand to further increase diversity within the orchestra. Hypocrites.

    • Anon says:

      The MET already has the fairest audition bylaws imaginable. Everyone who applies to a MET orchestra audition is either invited or asked to send a preliminary recording – nobody is rejected outright. The entire audition is behind a screen, everyone gets to play their round in its entirety, and a winner has to be chosen from the finals no matter what. What more do you expect them to do…?

      • MDR says:

        If they’re demanding the wider organisation “commit to hiring people of color” then they must commit to hiring people of color too. The goals of meritocracy and equality aren’t always aligned.

        • Terence says:

          Why stop there? How about forcing each orchestra member to take in at least one Black person under the same roof and also provide them with quality health care, food, and free opera tickets? Time to share the benefits of White privilege with the oppressed.

      • Monsoon says:

        Equality is not the same thing as equity.

        This is a problem that every employer faces. Having a blind hiring process to eliminate bias from it will not alone result in a more diverse workforce because of the inherent advantages that white people have, no matter the industry.

        That’s why some employers and schools have affirmative action policies.

        I’m sure the response to that is that the Met’s mission is to hire the absolutely best musicians, hard stop. If they, or any other orchestra truly wants to live the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, they’re going to have to rethink that.

        Now, I think there are more creative things they could do than just have a quota system, such as establishing a fellowship program with music programs at HBCU’s that serves as a pipeline for employment with the orchestra.

        • Hillary says:

          It’s about elevating ONLY the Blacks over the Whites now. No other races are included as usual forcing color over merit.

          Blacks who want this are acting just as Hitler did and whites like scared little Jews, just like the last time.

          The house can’t even generate live performance revenue yet on top of the fact the MET ABANDONED all their artists with no money yet chose to enrich themselves via an ‘emergency fundraiser’ 😉

          Let the IRS Audit commence.

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            It’s beyond hideous, especially the 3 horsemen of the apocalypse, diversity/equity/inclusion.

            Just like in the USSR; nobody could do any better than anybody else.

            Expect Trump again because the people just will not wear this propaganda and top-down group-think enforcement.

            Next thing we’ll have the ‘Woke Taliban’ removing all statues of white composers with a huge re-education program for the deplorable masses. How hideous it all is.

          • citicrab says:

            All true – statues will go down, re-education enforced etc. – other than the Trump part: the “new order” is now supported by the majority. The majority wants to be re-educated.

          • V.Lind says:

            This comment makes me nauseous.

        • Nick says:

          Affirmative Action IS the most racist instrument of all!! People should get what they deserve ONLY ON MERIT, not on skin color or religious/political beliefs.

      • Cubs Fan says:

        This is when reality and idealism come to bite left leaning people in the butt. In recent years POC have been given bonus points on college entrance exams to help them get in. We’ve put up with Affirmative Action for decades. Being the best doesn’t seem to matter anymore – now “good enough” is acceptable. So the MET orchestra may have to lower its standards and hire minority musicians who aren’t world-class, but good enough. Lord knows we’ve had enough conductors who were merely good enough. It used to be that sports and music were two arenas left where ability mattered. It’s going away in music quickly.

        • Stan says:

          And as orchestra members are well aware, an orchestra is only as good as weakest link. Perhaps other members can play louder, secretly adjust mic gain settings, etc. in order to make bad situation better.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          They would have LOVED life in the old USSR. And they’d all get to wear those nice grey uniforms, just to make sure nobody dressed better than anybody else. The western world is being dictated to by losers. A dangerous cocktail and the answer to this is not to educate the current and future generations; that way they won’t ever know what’s happening to them.

      • Bruce says:

        What more do you expect them to do…?

        “I expect them to take my interpretation of their goal to its most ridiculous extreme, otherwise I shall denounce them as hypocrites.”

      • Gizmo says:


      • Jerome Hoberman says:

        …And while it’s implied in “Anon”‘s statement, it should be made absolutely clear that even the final round is behind a screen. At no point in the process is gender or race evident.

      • Karl says:

        But they don’t want it to be fair. They want ‘racial justice’.

    • DAVID says:

      And exactly how shall we do that? Auditions at the MET are behind a blind screen all the way throughout. They only find out who the winner is after s/he has already been chosen, the finals are still behind a screen. Would you advocate for screen removal then?

      • MDR says:

        How should the administrators commit to hiring more people of color: by favouring them over other, potentially more experienced and/or suitable, candidates?

        If you’re saying they should positively discriminate in their hiring then so should the orchestra! As it stands, you’re advocating for a ‘one rule for you, another rule for us’ policy, and those always end up with yet more disenfranchised people.

        • DAVID says:

          You’re actually undermining your own point, and you don’t even realize it. There is no double standard here at all, there’s actually only one rule: everybody plays behind a screen and the best candidate is chosen, period. Whether or not you’re capable, or willing, to understand this straightforward point is the only issue here. Now if you want to address the greater perspective here, which is whether certain communities are from the very beginning disadvantaged in terms of their access to the kind of education that will give them a fighting chance in an increasingly competitive world, that would actually be a more constructive argument.

          • OperaOrchPlayer says:

            I don’t think they are ‘undermining their own point’ actually, rather I think you are missing their point as they’re not talking about the orchestra exclusively. Whilst it may not be elegantly argued, they are highlighting a double standard that you are refusing to acknowledge.

            There is an inherent double standard in the demands listed by the MET orchestra because they do not demand the same of themselves: though they insist on blind auditions in the admirable goal that the best candidate be hired regardless of background, their letter demands the opposite of the admin and casting departments.

            Monsoon made a great point. It may seem superficially that all are after fairness, but there’s an important distinction to be made. The orchestra is promoting an internal hiring policy based on equality (everyone treated the same regardless of need) but it is demanding the wider MET instigate a policy based on equity (people treated differently dependent on need).

            We have a broad problem in classical music: it’s systemically biased to favour White people. That’s for a huge variety of reasons, but all start at the very bottom of the pyramid – access must be made available to all, regardless of socioeconomic or ethnic circumstances, at an early age. That is the only way to ensure ‘equality’ can exist in the hiring process, whilst resulting in a diverse institution.

          • DAVID says:

            If I understand your argument correctly, then, the blind audition system should indeed be discarded, so that one can ensure that orchestras implement a standard of diversity that would be independent of a candidate’s actual competence for the job. This is indeed what you acknowledge by calling the policy of hiring the best candidate an “admirable goal” whilst suggesting, if I read you correctly, that this very goal is inherently problematic — an argument in perfect coherence with the OP’s original post. There really are only two alternatives here: either we do hire the best candidate, in which case a blind audition system is indeed the only one capable of eradicating the very possibility of bias, or we don’t, and we then deny some highly coveted positions to the best deserving candidates. The real issue though, as you yourself seem to be acknowledging, is one that begins much earlier than the audition stage; it is one of basic access to high-level education and ultimately of a system that would make it possible for anyone, regardless of socio-economic status or skin color, to have an equal chance, from the outset, to acquiring the skills needed to succeed. This is where the fight needs to be happening — in addressing the actual causes instead of superficially calling out the symptoms and believing that one is actually fostering any meaningful change by doing so.

          • OperaOrchPlayer says:

            No, David, I’m not suggesting that you discard the blind audition process. I think it’s a good system, we don’t do it across the pond and I wish we did.

            But I’m really struggling to see how are missing inconsistency in your own message. You state above that dropping blind auditions would disincentivise competency in favour of diversity. Yet in the MET orchestra statement (and I recognise that it’s not reproduced in whole above), you imply that your management ‘must’ do exactly that. That is, I’m afraid, as the OP stated, hypocritical.

            I’m not going to suggest how you reconcile not pushing for increased diversity within the orchestra, whilst pushing for it in elsewhere in the organisation, because I don’t have any answers. You imply that the screened audition process is fair, I agree – it allows for a purely meritocratic approach. It could, I guess, be possible for HR to implement that system more widely. You could theoretically interview blindly. But you’re not demanding that, you’re demanding in fact the opposite – that HR do not hire blindly, that they positively discriminate.

            Fine, positive discrimination is one way to increase diversity in the workplace. Then the orchestra should be prepared to positively discriminate too – and yes, that would mean dropping the screen at auditions. Otherwise you’re holding your own company to ransom, and it devalues your statement.

            We’re running around in circles here. So I would just urge you to consider such public statements to the extent that they are logically watertight before publishing. Else they pressurise the entire industry to make similarly knee-jerk decisions. This is a very nuanced conversation that leads right back to the genesis of our art form, and quick, ill-informed reactions result in policies that are not helpful for anyone.

            I’m glad we agree that the fight needs to happen at the widest and earliest levels, to ‘address the actual cause’ as you say. BML has raised to the surface issues that run right to the core of what we do. Hopefully, by working carefully, diligently and relentlessly, we can create a better future for all our industry.

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            Isn’t that what the Bolsheviks also wanted?

          • DAVID says:

            I actually did not argue in favor of “positive discrimination” — the OP did. I actually find the very notion of positive discrimination somehow problematic, because it often turns out to be patronizing. You don’t solve the problem of diversity by artificially creating quotas that need to be filled, you do it by fostering a society that truly gives equal chances to all from the very beginning. I’d be curious as to whether those who are most vocal about the current state of affairs would be willing to contribute an extra 2 or 3% of their income in taxes so that each and every child can have a world-class education, because that’s part of what it would actually take. I suspect their self-righteous attitude is mostly confined to the comfort of their living rooms. That, indeed, is hypocritical. As far as the alleged lack of watertight logic in my argument, I’m glad we can both agree, as you state, that “the orchestra should be prepared to positively discriminate too – and yes, that would mean dropping the screen at auditions.” That statement speaks for itself. The double-standard I was referring to, actually, was the “one rule for me, another rule for us” argument, which sorely missed the utter irony that to enact an auditioning system whereby one would not judged merely on their own merits would indeed result in a rather questionable double standard. I understand that you’re arguing that in order to be consistent, an organization should implement the same policies throughout; my argument would be that they actually need to hire the best people in all of their departments and, instead of focusing on mere optics, truly work toward the kind of courageous stance that would lead to real change, as opposed to merely cosmetic measures designed to make a company look good in the eye of public opinion.

          • OperaOrchPlayer says:

            Thanks for clarifying. Best wishes from London, we all hope that we can get back in our pits soon.

          • Ken says:

            That is beautifully and perfectly expressed. Thank you.

          • Alank says:

            “We have a broad problem in classical music: it’s systemically biased to favour White people” Really? Have you looked at the composition of the top conservatories lately? Asian Americans will soon dominate the string sections of US major orchestras. And I say who the hell cares! Kudos to them for their hard work and dedication to classical music. They will likely be the custodians of western art music. Just go observe a concert audience and look at the ethnic composition of those under 40 years old!

          • Sam Quaid says:

            What you’re saying is to enact racism against all of the classical composers to appease one group. Blacks only.

            People like yourself need to renounce your US, CAN or EU citizenship and go to where your ideologies align such as China, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Venezuela, etc.

            They’d just love your outspoken/activism!

            Tell us all about how much better it is. Go ahead..

          • Wiseguy says:

            Are you out of your MIND?!? Black musicians showing up at ANY audition, once they emerge from behind the screen are HUGELY favored to win because the classical music business is massively liberal progressive. Conductors and Players are falling over themselves to show the world how “woke” they are. Tons of musicians grew up poor. Blacks haven’t cornered the market on poverty.

          • Neil Weiss says:

            The Democrat Party still sells that narrative and their sick base continues to fall for it.

            BTW Look at where all the recent violence and black poverty is happening!! Democrat run cities; like that episode in Buffalo, NY with the elderly ‘protester’. That city has A Democrat mayor, council, school board, etc and the mayor is a black male while the city REMAINS both poor and divided since the 60’s. Besides snow, it’s now the only thing anybody like CNN reports about them. The riots, burning city hall, looting and some old guy who should have stayed home under Governor Cuomo’s pandemic orders who willfully failed to follow direct police orders made the Lib media. So what?!?! What difference did any of this make besides hurting the community??

          • AWC says:

            R. I. Alert –throughout this thread, under a multitude of names.

            Clues aren’t hard to spot.

            Interestingly, now that Bunker Boy’s fate is in peril, R.I.’s comments have become more frequent and desperate.

            R. I. doesn’t know he’s tanking with this audience. He just keeps stabbing away. SAD!!!!!!!!!

          • citicrab says:

            “… it’s systemically biased to favour White people.” For sure, it’s a joke. Aren’t the whites systemically disfavored to favor East Asians? As for making access to classical music available (but not enforced, right?) to all, I’d also add organic food, good weather, excellent health and beautiful women to the list.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        “‘Twer to consider too curiously to consider so” (Hamlet).

    • Alank says:

      Spot on! Just like the Minnesota Orchestra. Virtue signaling with no possibility of adverse consequences to the petitioners. If they feel so strongly about it they should volunteer to have a quota on white people and resign. But what do you do about the Asian musicians?. Put a quota on them because they have lousy personalities according to Harvard! Try to apply the same preferences schemes in sports and see where that will get you

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Don’t write about it in the New York Times or you’ll be sacked if your opinion deviates from the enforced orthodoxy.

        Wake up you people; all this garbage leads to is MORE TRUMP. The ordinary people cannot stand social engineering and aren’t going to tolerate it anymore. If they vote for a human bulldozer next time you might understand why – but I doubt it. Why even try when you are so perfectly virtuous yourself, with the monopoly on righteousness? The Puritans live!!!

  • Met Must First Survive says:

    The Opera must first survive the Covid-19 before it can follow this politically correct gobberish!!! Then it can fire it’s white staff and musicians and hire an all black staff and orchestra.

  • Darrell says:

    Go bold. Dispense with all white composers from concerts for at least a full season. Then you can play on the subway to pay the rent. You all are weak and nature does not forgive.

  • V.Lind says:

    I have no problem with the last five of these bromides, which is all they are until something is done about them. I do think they should be acted upon, and that they can be — these outreaches are something the Met can tackle.

    Of the first three, all of which mean finding suitable personnel, I imagine the third should be possible — I would be surprised if there are not enough talented, experienced and interested black administrators to take on management roles at the Met. (But what’s the timeline? Are talented, experienced, interested managers who happen to be white to lose their jobs to make up some quota? And need they not bother to apply for the foreseeable future till some arbitrary quota is reached?).

    I also suspect that there are now enough talented black singers around that the Met can engage some of them each season — even if every other opera company in the western world decides it must also do the same. I have to assume that there may also be enough black musicians to take on solo roles for the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Though in each case I have strong reservations that any artist should be engaged on the basis of “color.”

    But I am a little concerned about the first. I am not entirely sure that there are enough “composers and conductors of color[sic]” to make a MANDATED appearance every season — in both operatic and orchestral forms — possible. The Metropolitan Opera, which is specified, is not, rightly or wrongly, presenting new operas every season. And, alas, there are not that many operas in the canon by black composers to fulfil such a demand.

    Conductors: well, it might be possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were quite a few more good black conductors kicking around than we hear much about — though the point of companies like the Met is that they are supposed to hire and present the absolute best, and if we are not hearing about these artists, are they actually good enough for the Met? Maybe they are, and their absence from the music headlines is exactly the problem.

    But maybe the Met is covered. That term “of color [sic]” embraces more than blacks, who are front and centre these days but — will they still be when all these institutions address their racial issues? Let’s face it, the country is crawling with successful and high profile Latino conductors, and there are more Asian artists of opera and symphonic music than black. Will the Met use these to claim that its statement of purpose s being fulfilled? That it has reached EDIB, whatever that is? (I am so swamped by new acronyms that I can’t remember what the B is supposed to stand for although I think I decoded the rest).

    I am not one who immediately jumps on statements of good intentions, even though we know which road they pave, as “virtue signalling.” The Met’s mea culpa statement struck me as pretty standard fare for these days. But this response by the musicians is just a woke, politically correct attempt to placate.

    It is absolutely urgent that all manner of institutions be OPEN to people from every racial background. But “must” is the wrong word, and the wrong attitude for hiring. By al means increase the emphasis on minority communities in outreach engagements — this is where the effort must be made. And I can understand minority impatience — we are 20 years into the 21st century, 60 years on from the civil rights movement that saw some significant advancement, and yet we still have to go back practically to square one in this field. (And in others). But to implement “affirmative action” in the performing arts would do nobody any favours.

    • MDR says:

      Absolutely. Well said.

    • Edward says:

      Very true. Colored does not only mean black. If MET ends up only adding black composers, conductors and artists into the new seasons, it is not equality, but another discrimination based on color.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        And the entire institution eminently avoidable. Be woke, go broke.

        • citicrab says:

          No dear Sue SF, nobody’d going broke. You just stop relying on racist concertgoers and/or donors. Their are too fickle. True virtue should – and will be – underwritten by government (just like it was in the Soviet Union).

    • Yes Addison says:

      <> Which was already the case. There are more black singers engaged consistently at the Met for leading roles, and participating in new productions and broadcasts, than at any previous time in the theater’s history.

      Even taking the recent Porgy and Bess out of the equation, all of the following have been engaged there in the last five seasons and were scheduled for upcoming operas: Blue, Bridges, Brownlee, Green, Moore, Owens, Robinson, Schultz, Thomas, Yende.

    • Falcon says:

      Jessye Norman was quite disappointed about the lack of qualified black singers after she and Kathleen Battle forged a modern path bearing few black voices or paying audience members.

      Jessye would not approve of race over substance (even in her faux English accent).

    • citicrab says:

      So leave the performing arts out of it because you care. Implement it elsewhere where you do not.

  • Greg in Chicago says:

    This makes about as much sense as players of the New York Knicks demanding the team looked “more like America” when all the fans really want is for management to hire the best players available, regardless of race.

  • annnon says:

    Like the crew on the Titanic demanding more spacious quarters.

    You may be unemployed come 2021, but at least the person firing you will be Black.

  • sam says:

    • The Opera must never again work with the NY Police Department, all protesters will be invited to lead a teach-in with the audience in lieu of the performance

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      After all, everybody is so badly in need of re-education. And Trump will be the one giving it to them!!

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    The lunatics are running the asylum.

    While their goals are to be lauded, the MET is a business first and foremost.

    All these initiatives will take money unless the musicians are willing to donate some services to make this happen.

    Good luck. May be a good time for Mr Gelb to retire and watch the bus go off the cliff while having a cup of coffee.

  • Total Diversity says:


    -The Board needs to go including all their OFFENSIVE ‘white money’ starting with Ann Ziff

    -The Security staff can be fully cut (saving lots of $$)

    -Yannick can easily pull out and stay in Canada where he belongs

    -Gelb can go after he washes the feet of the incoming POC to balance his ‘White Privilege’

    -No more Mozart, Strauss, Puccini, Wagner, Massenet,Verdi, etc as they are of course all White Male Oppressors

    -Donald Palumbo and his Slavemaster treatment of the chorus is leaving

    -Roughly 90% of the hideous, ‘look at ME’ photos of White singers must be burned

    -The Chagalls should be either be defaced with graffiti or sold for ‘reparations’

    -no mo’ cracka’ food in the dining area..

    -the MET Guild must be disbanded as well

    -cover the edifice in graffiti while ‘protesting’ ignoring police

    -return the entirety of Lincoln Center to the DISPLACED Blacks of San Juan Hill as it was gentrified by Robert Moses

    Let’s see how far these already out of work lefties are willing to go!

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Over-educated, under-talented, way too much time on their hands, aggrieved, sour and…. DANGEROUS.

  • Just stage good works says:

    Virtue-signalling twaddle. On the other hand, if they stage some woke opera instead of another Nico Muhly piece, that could be an improvement.

    If they hire an all-black orchestra, and most of the patrons are white, will the MET be the new Cotton Club?

  • phf655 says:

    Is the relatively paucity of minority people in the positions mentioned in the demands due to discrimination or to a lack of qualified candidates? The strong representation of Asian musicians in major United States orchestras, including the Met orchestra (which has an Asian-American concertmaster) suggests the latter. Rather than this ridiculous me-too-ism, a reasoned analysis of this issue would be more helpful.

  • Freddynyc says:

    So the New York Phil should be following their lead soon? The number of African-American players they’ve hired in their 125+ year history I believe I can count with my two hands……

  • RW2013 says:

    I love a good Florence Price symphony.

  • RM says:

    Wow. What a reactionary bunch of white privileged snowflakes. It’s like listening to the overwrought crowd cowering at the mere utterance of “Defund the Police” without being inquisitive as to the idea’s nuance. What a panic!

    Take a moderating bunch of reasonable proposals that the MET musicians have offered which would do no harm to the institution and it’s suddenly the end of the musicians, the Met, Gelb, the future of opera, the future of classical music as we know it, the end of culture, the end of the planet.

    I’m truly flabbergasted that all this time I have actually been part of a community all along that has been working under the veil of white privilege whether they knew it or not.

    It’s just simply on full display now.

    • Winnifred says:

      Are you speaking of the players, singers, conductors, composers, staff, board, Gelb???

      So many to quickly consider before ANTIFA assails the whole of Lincoln Center to deface, loot and burn it to the ground in effigy.

      Glad Gelb is in charge in tandem with the board; it’s vacant which doesn’t say much over the last decade or so.

      Not advocating any of this but the Left is clearly CRAZED with hate for anything prosperous, white-created or just plain nice like all the poor black, Hispanic and Asian businesses that have just been looted and charred.

      My heart goes out to all who Democrats and Leftists have violated over a man who was a prisoner more than a real man.

    • The View from America says:


  • Hans-Dieter Glaubke says:

    Politics before talent and qualifications.

  • drummerman says:

    Interesting that they did not mention adding African American board members. I would think that is essential for all sorts of reasons.

  • Porgy and Bess says:

    It says a lot that the great black opera was written by two Jewish brothers. It was also the most successful opera of the last season.

    Boxing yourselves into identity politics will get you no where except bankruptcy.

    The day people go back to being color blind will be a great day not only for America but the world.

    African Americans make up 13% of the population in America. There are fewer African Americans than Hispanic/Latino Americans. This epoch in American whining is also rooted in this fact.

    Get rid of the bad cops but don’t ruin our country and cultural insttutions. There isn’t a 1-800 number where you can call for 50 incredible African American violinists just like there isn’t one for 50 world class Jewish football players.

    Humanity will do itself in with the identity discrimination that is going on now.

    Move on, will you???

    • bratschegirl says:

      It’s not possible to go “back” to being color blind because we’ve never yet gotten there in the first place. Where we used to be was that everyone white was assumed to be qualified unless proven otherwise (and sometimes not even then) and everyone non-white was assumed to be not qualified unless proven otherwise (and often not even then).

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    How quaint to imagine the Met will even be in existence next year.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    I am genuinely and deeply interested to hear what maestros Wilkins, Morgan, Heyward and Cox would say about the matter.

  • buxtehude says:

    Since this ship has already pretty-much sunk, what’s the downside to inviting absolutely everyone on board?

  • Bill says:

    It’s an opening bargaining position. Ask for a lot, settle for some. I doubt any expect to get everything on the wish list.

  • Araragi says:

    Gelb – put your money where his mouth is. If you’re really committed to diversity at he Met, should step down from your role so the Met can hire a POC as GM. Then maybe we’ll take you seriously.

  • Dennis says:

    Per usual, nothing about actual artistic quality, admin ability, etc. Skin color is all that matters to these Neo-racists ravaging the arts (and all areas of society).

  • Bruce says:

    It’s interesting how many people see initiatives like this as anti-white discrimination campaigns.

    They’re talking about the Met as a whole company, btw, not just the orchestra. The orchestra actually has a pretty good record of color (and gender) blind hiring thanks to their audition process.

    Obviously a commitment to hiring conductors, composers, and soloists of color does not imply a compromise with quality; I can’t imagine that committing to hiring administrators of color would have to, either.

    • M2N2K says:

      How can it possibly not “imply a compromise with quality”? If an organization is firmly and officially committed to hiring a “PoC”, then the quality of other candidates is not just reduced to secondary consideration – it becomes completely irrelevant, because no matter how many of them may be better qualified none of them would have any chance at all to even be considered for the job. If that is not a racist policy, I don’t know what is.

    • Just saying says:

      It might not be a compromise with quality, but it is still prioritizing one’s skin color over merit. As a musician of color myself, I would not want to be hired merely to fill a quota; I want to be hired because I am the best for the job, period.

    • Bruce says:

      You guys make it sound like they are demanding that ONLY people of color be hired.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    If these brilliant ideas are followed through the effect will be the same as Covid :no audience

  • tim says:

    Racism is bad.

  • Race Rage says:

    Enforced equality of outcome, the new totalitarianism. It doesn’t work! It perpetuates the victim group narrative and does nothing for the group it purports to help, except foster a resentment that was never there before. There are a multitude of reasons why white and Asian people dominate the classical music world, and they are mainly cultural, and nothing to do with skin color. Why are fewer whites going to conservatory these days, for example? It’s cultural! Why are we so OBSESSED with group identity, and specifically black group identity? Black musicians are absolutely wonderful, but they also make personal choices as to what kind of music they want to play, and in what ensembles. Is there really any data out there showing that black musicians show up and play better, but don’t get the post because of overt racism? Post the evidence, if so. Is there any data that shows that the entirely white concert halls are entirely white because all the black people queuing for tickets are being refused admission because of the color of their skin? If so, post it! Isn’t it just possible that the vast majority of black people just don’t dig classical music, and freely express their preference for other genres? That’s fine! My experience across the classical world is that it is one of the few remaining meritocracies, and nobody cares a damm about skin color. We love anyone who plays well! Opera, for sure, is color blind. The best voices get hired. Full stop. The world is going nuts! It is just desperate to hold onto victim narratives, and to blame all white people today for sins they played no part in. I am not responsible for the actions of my neighbor, let alone my dead neighbor. It is beyond irrational to engineer these meaningless forms of reparation, out of some bizarre sense of cross-generational, vicarious guilt. Stop it! Just hire the best, whoever that may be! That’s how to be post-racial!

  • Elisa says:

    Asians are already featured all the time… aren’t they people of color?

  • Alexander Graham Cracker says:

    Leaving aside the fact that “commit to” is a weasel expression (i.e., one that requires nothing but good intentions of anyone), why would any musician of color want anything to do with any organization that’s this allegedly racist? Better to form Orchestras of Color, no? And show the world what it’s been missing?

  • Wiseguy says:

    The MET musicians are seriously full of themselves, virtue signaling like bratty teenagers, insulting everyone in the organization to make affirmative action hires while they wouldn’t suggest that for themselves. They are actually insulting black people, implying that they couldn’t simply get jobs on their own merits. The mET musicians have lost my sympathy.

  • debuschubertussy says:

    Are Asian-Americans “persons of color?” (Serious question).

    • Araragi says:

      You are not. And in fact in many prestigious American universities, being Asian-American works against you because you are over-represented. Brave new world.

      • Bill C says:

        That’s HIGHLY OFFENSIVE Araragi!!!

        It’s not your place to say that to anybody.

        US Statistical data says otherwise; just like ‘White’ people have recently entered ‘Minority Status’. Lawsuits against Black-only institutions have already been filed as they should be.

        America celebrates ALL cultures and creeds which is why immigrants come here and not places such as the Middle East, Africa, Israel (where they are victimized by Jews and cast out), South America, China, etc. Those are either too dangerous or tourist attractions.

        Italy, France and Poland can’t take their violence and they’ve been turned away as well. Indeed one must have money and be able to contribute to society just like Canada which is why all those whiny Libs couldn’t afford to move there in 2016. LMFAO!!

  • Alphonse says:

    I really can’t take much more this woke oneupsmanship. I’m being sincere in this comment, and I’m not trying to get a rise out of anyone. I’m in my late twenties now, but some part of me will always be that idealistic little boy who believed that the musical profession was a true meritocracy, and music itself a sublime haven from the politics and noise of the world. Now, the politicization of the industry is a foregone conclusion. Sometimes it feels as though the music itself is an afterthought. It’s become all about politics, wokeness, business, and self-promotion. Conservatories churn out joyless audition-winning robots who then go on to plaster themselves all over social media, either promoting themselves or getting up on their soapboxes and pontificating about political matters. Groupthink and herd mentality abound. I’ve already been struggling with the ill effects of quarantine isolation; bits of news like this only serve to discourage me further. I often wish that I was born in an earlier era. Deep down I’ll always be that same bright-eyes idealist I was. Apologies for my rambling. In sum, my feelings can be adequately summed up in the words of the great poet John Clare:
    “… I long for scenes where man has never trod;
    A place where woman never smil’d or wept; There to abide with my creator, God,
    And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept: Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
    The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”

  • M McAlpine says:

    I am disappointed that ageing people like myself who cannot sing a note are not included in this swingeing review of diversity! Who is standing up for our rights?

  • Nick says:

    MET IS ON ITS KNEES, thus so is the Music!
    The Music is ashamed! And the MET should be ashamed, but the are not.

  • Otis says:

    It’s amazing to see how much a statement like this terrifies our community. Just shows how much work we have to do to unpick the racist sub-culture of our community

  • J'aime la musique says:

    While this list of equality reforms looks great on paper, I find one recent action by the Met is NOT in keeping with the spirit of these proposals: Two African American Met stars – Pretty Yende and Lawrence Brownlee – were slated to perform in the BARBER OF SEVILLE in December and January. They have NOT been replaced by African American singers for the rescheduled run of that opera in March of 2021.

    • Ken says:

      And how exactly do you know the casting in 2021?

    • Ken says:

      The Met won’t be open in March 2021, so you can relax.

    • Furious says:

      Why should they be? They were hired because they’re amazing, not because they’re black. They should be replaced with people equally amazing, not equally black, or tall, or short, or any other arbitrary group delineation you wish to impose. For all I care, they could be replaced with singers even more black. As long as they are up to the task. Seriously, nobody cares about this crap. It’s virtue-signalling on acid. The opera world loves anyone who can thrill us with their voice, which is why we loved Norman, Estes, Price, Anderson, Verrett, White, and the rest of the long list of wonderful artists whose voices and artistry we celebrate, not their box-ticking and quota-fulfilling! Be post-racial. Stop talking about race. Just get on with living the creed, not preaching it.

  • Ken says:

    This is just a gag, right?

  • hermes says:

    Fuck their racist demands bunch of bully athoritarian crybaby 80 IQ rioting animals

  • gabe says:

    If Nascar can do it Met can do it