News just broke this weekend that the Met hired outside string musicians for the virtual New Year's Gala. This is not the first time this has occurred and will continue to be an unfavorable look for them in the future. The American Federation of Musicians recently released their statement regarding this issue.
“It is artistic malpractice and unacceptable that non-Met musicians are being hired to perform under the banner of the Metropolitan Opera at tonight’s New Year’s Eve Gala. This is the fourth fundraising event where 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."
"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.” (Adam Krauthamer)
The Metropolitan Opera has yet to respond to this controversy.