Riccardo Muti writes as follows in an “open statement”…

“The closure of the Metropolitan Opera House and the dramatic situation of its wonderful Orchestra embodies a profound grief, not only for the city of New York, but for the entire cultural world. Without music and the musicians who bring it to life, civil society is doomed to spiritual poverty and barbarism. Music is not entertainment, but rather, an essential food for the mind and soul.

“The Met, its Orchestra, along with its artistic team and technical crews are a heritage of humanity. The artistic world is in disbelief that the very existence of a great Orchestra like the Met’s could be in danger and even at risk of disappearing.

“My appeal, as a musician, as Music Director of the great Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and as a citizen of the world, is to give back to the musicians of the Met the dignity which we all deserve and the hope that they can soon return to share with us their art. We must support them during this unprecedented and terrible pandemic.

“The extensive and glorious history of the Met and its fabulous Orchestra cannot end in an artistic catastrophe. The world of Art, of Culture, and of Beauty would never forgive it! Moreover, future generations would suffer dearly the negative consequences. – Maestro Muti”

And Muti made a great speech during the Vienna Phil’s New Year Concert…