In a Bloomberg article, Peter Gelb, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, explains why his company will not be dedicating its opening performance tonight — of Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin — to oppressed LGBT people in Russia, despite the public pressure for it to do so.
A brief excerpt — you can read the full report on the Bloomberg site:
While I’m confident that many members of our company join me in personally deploring the tyranny of Russia’s new anti-gay laws, we’re also opposed to the laws of the 76 countries that go even further than Russia in the outright criminalization of homosexuality.
We stand against the significant human rights abuses that take place every day in many countries. But as an arts institution, the Met is not the appropriate vehicle for waging nightly battles against the social injustices of the world.
Over the course of our nine-month season, artists from dozens of different countries — some with poor human rights records — will be performing at the Met. If we were to devote tonight’s performance to Russian injustice, how could we possibly stop there?
Makes sense. So much attention is being devoted to Russia now, but there are far worse atrocities happening to LGBT people in other nations.