Monday, September 20, 2021

Le grand remplacement continue...

English Touring Opera drops 14 white musicians - including many who have played with the company for 20 years - in woke drive to 'increase diversity'

The English Touring Opera has dropped 14 white musicians in a woke drive to 'increase diversity' in the company.    

The musicians, aged 40 to 66, have been told they will not be offered contracts with the company in Spring 2022 citing diversity guidance from the Arts Council England, the Sunday Times reported. 

The musicians, who officially work as freelancers, can be dropped from the opera season-on-season but many have played with the company for up to 20 years and consider it a permanent job. 

The Arts Council England has hit back at the ETO, which it funds to the tune of £1.78 million a year, saying it never encouraged the company to sack musicians.

'We did not instruct the English Touring Opera to send this letter,' the Council said. 'We are now in conversation with ETO to ensure no funding criteria have been breached'.   

ETO director James Conway wrote to musicians, telling them the company was 'going through some significant changes' that included 'increasing all kinds of diversity in its team'. 

He said the opera would prioritise 'increased diversity in the orchestra' as there have been 'steady advances' in this area on stage. 

Conway added the decision was 'in line with the firm guidance of the Arts Council'. 

The move was condemned by the musician's union which said it was 'appalled' by the letter. 

'This equates to almost half the orchestra losing their roles', it added. 'Many of the members who have been told they will not be booked for the 2022 have been performing with ETO for 20 years or more.'

The ETO did not reply to requests for comment ahead of publication. 

There are currently no musicians of a non-white background in the orchestra, which is set to resume shows next month.  

The orchestra tours towns and cities in the UK with live productions and educational projects, reaching nearly 50,000 people a year, according to its website.  

It is the latest blow to musicians, who were unable to work for the majority of the pandemic and were forced to rely on grants and loans. 

Musicians said they had hoped the Spring 2022 season would see them return to work and be an opportunity to repay debts racked up during the pandemic. 

The ETO has said it will consider the musicians for future productions and praised the 'commitment and achievement' of all freelance players. 

The opera will return next month with a production of Handel's Amadigi. 

Source: MailOnline, Staff, September 12, 2021


filidor said...

Mi alternativa está clara: no acudo a conciertos en los que intervienen músicos negros.

Esta Noche said...