MET Opera General Manager Peter Gelb wants to impose draconian cuts of over $30 Million, which would slash the compensation of the orchestra’s world-class musicians and other craftspeople on whom the MET’s excellence and success rely.
Gelb, who receives an annual salary of about $1.4 Million, insists there is a crisis, but has so far failed to clarify why these $30 Million cuts would be necessary when his reported deficit is only 2.8 Million in the context of a $327 Million annual budget.
While labour costs have remained flat under Gelb’s administration since 2006, the MET Opera budget has increased by nearly 50% (to $105 Million), in large part due to overspending on critically panned, unpopular productions, as well as poor scheduling, ineffective marketing and extensive management waste. The musicians have proposed $37.8 Million in cost-savings, including cuts that will lower the Met’s labour costs, which management has dismissed seemingly in favor of a lockout.
The international community of musicians can’t accept that the livelihoods of workers in one the most emblematic opera stages in the world be jeopardized by those very people whose poor management and lack of vision have imperiled the institution that they were supposed to protect and develop.
Musicians everywhere are requested to express their support to their fellow musicians as well as to all other craftspeople at the MET, by E-mailing a protest letter to the MET management and Board of Directors (model letter and list of recipients attached to this post). Please cc your messages to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org