The Met is killing its orchestra. Why can’t the NY Times report it?main
Under the headline ‘Its Musicians are out of Work but the Met is Streaming’, the carefully understated New York Times reviews Anna Netrebko’s streamed recital from Vienna.
Anthony Tommasini’s review acknowledges the parlous situation of musicians in the Met’s orchestra. He writes: ‘It was hard not to think about what was missing this time: the Met’s musicians. Since the end of March, the unionized orchestra and chorus, among other workers, have remained furloughed, with talks between the unions and management at a standstill. Frustrations have been vented on social media over the Met’s decision to stream recitals like Netrebko’s while the company’s house artists remain out of work. (The orchestra is planning its own streaming concert, independent of the Met, on Feb. 21…’
That phrase ‘remained furloughed’ is less than the truth. For the past 11 months, musicians in the Met orchestra have not been paid. The Met is only major US organisation to withhold musician salaries and it does so openly – as Peter Gelb has clearly stated – in order to force the musicians to accept a massive pay cut.
This is both blackmail and starvation. The musicians do not ‘remain furloughed’, as the Times reports. They have no income since March 2020, no means of support. Many have taken other jobs, some in other countries. The Met is killing its orchestra. Why can’t the Times report the plain truth?