Peter Gelb’s decision to use European musicians for a New Year’s gala instead of his own unwaged orchestra has drawn fury from AFM local 802 leader Adam Krauthamer. Here is the cutting edge of his statement:
Met management is unethically outsourcing its musicians while, at the same time, attempting to use the pandemic as an opportunity to gut the regular Met musicians’ contract through destructive bargaining. All of these fundraising events can — and should — be done safely right here in New York with members of the Met orchestra. The deepest offense any artistic institution can make is the choice to attack its own artists. Let’s be clear: hiring non-Met musicians under the banner of the Metropolitan Opera and outsourcing the orchestra’s work is an attack on the Met as an artistic institution and an insult to the very artists who work there. The Met is still the only major American orchestra that has furloughed and not paid its musicians or given them any kind of substantial financial aid or lifeline during the pandemic. This is the kind of negligent leadership that leads to the self destruction of the Met’s artistic credibility, and — on a larger scale — to a Great Cultural Depression.