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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The English Touring Opera (ETO) is leading the way in tackling, the lack of diversity, sex discrimination and hopefully the pernicious effect of white privilege in modern opera performance.

According to Lebrecht's publication, musicians previously engaged at the ETO have been written to ending their engagement and future engagements, to make way for more diverse people to take their place.

It's a move to be welcomed and shows how sensitive and forward-thinking the people in charge are.

Read About it here from Slipped Dischttps://slippedisc.com/2021/09/english-orchestra-sacks-half-its-players-to-become-more-diverse/
 

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The English Touring Opera (ETO) is leading the way in tackling presumingly, the lack of diversity, sex discrimination and hopefully the pernicious effect of white privilege, in modern opera performance.

According to Lebrecht's publication, musicians have been written to ending their engagement and future engagements, to make way for more diverse people to take their place.

It's a move to be welcomed and shows how sensitive and clever the people in charge are.

Read About it here from Slipped Dischttps://slippedisc.com/2021/09/english-orchestra-sacks-half-its-players-to-become-more-diverse/
Do you oppose diversity in Classical performing groups?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you oppose diversity in Classical performing groups?
No, I don't oppose diversity in classical performing groups. What about you? Do you oppose diversity in classical performing groups?
 

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One of the most appalling things I have had the misfortune to read. You’ve been with us for twenty years but you can sod off and we’ll employ someone who fits the ‘diversity’ profile and fills a quota. Whatever happened to the right person for the job regardless of race or creed or gender or the need to fulfil some bizarre politically correct agenda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One of the most appalling things I have had the misfortune to read. You've been with us for twenty years but you can sod off and we'll employ someone who fits the 'diversity' profile and fills a quota. Whatever happened to the right person for the job regardless of race or creed or the need to fulfil some bizarre politically correct agenda.
Do you oppose diversity in classical performing groups? ;)
 

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One of the most appalling things I have had the misfortune to read. You've been with us for twenty years but you can sod off and we'll employ someone who fits the 'diversity' profile and fills a quota. Whatever happened to the right person for the job regardless of race or creed or gender or the need to fulfil some bizarre politically correct agenda.
That's called a meritocracy - a hopelessly outdated concept compared to inclusivity where the one who gets the job may be as thick as mince but more importantly ticks the right neoliberal boxes.

The concept of 'white privilege' is total gash - a mantra chanted by middle class students and middle class people who still wish they were students.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why would you assume that the minority musicians would not be just as qualified?
I wouldn't make any assumptions at all. Your questions seem odd. I don't understand where you're coming from.
 

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Your original post seemed to imply you were against the new policy, I picked up some sarcasm in your post.

This is the last you'll see me here.
One should not sack employees just because they are not minorities anymore than one should sack employees because they are minorities. We will assume that the positions have been open to minorities in the past and would continue to be. So come the next job opening, let the most qualified musician get the position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Your original post seemed to imply you were against the new policy, I picked up some sarcasm in your post.

This is the last you'll see me here.
I'm definitely against the new policy!

But your questions are non sequiturs. You cannot conclude that because I believe in merit, it naturally follows that I believe minority musicians would not be just as qualified. It's a shame that 'it's the last we'll see of you here', although I suppose your cluttered thinking won't be missed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One should not sack employees just because they are not minorities anymore than one should sack employees because they are minorities. We will assume that the positions have been open to minorities in the past and would continue to be. So come the next job opening, let the most qualified musician get the position.
There's the rub. They were sacked to make way for people of different characteristics. The emphasis is on personal characteristics that would place them in a certain group, rather than whether their musicianship has merit. It's a topsy turvy world we live in these days!
 

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Moved to the politics and religion sub-forum. Please continue to keep the discussion related to the effect of such policies on music and music performance.
 

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Not sure what is meant by "freelance engagement", but it sounds as though the individuals concerned were not "sacked" as they were not employees in the conventional sense.

If the orchestra management has held auditions and determined that it wants to engage a new member whose musical skills stand scrutiny, and this means a previously engaged member is no longer engaged, that is a legitimate process.

Lebrecht's article doesn't give the reader much to go on, nor does the statement from the boss of the ETO.

Of course, if playing ability should be the only criterion, "20 years" is irrelevant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not sure what is meant by "freelance engagement", but it sounds as though the individuals concerned were not "sacked" as they were not employees in the conventional sense.

If the orchestra management has held auditions and determined that it wants to engage a new member whose musical skills stand scrutiny, and this means a previously engaged member is no longer engaged, that is a legitimate process.

Lebrecht's article doesn't give the reader much to go on, nor does the statement from the boss of the ETO.

Of course, if playing ability should be the only criterion, "20 years" is irrelevant.
The term 'sacked' is s generic term used when an organisation terminates the services or service of an individual, and that's what is happening here. Whether the individual is engaged for service or services is not going to make any difference to the person losing their livelihood. 20 years is most certainly not irrelevant because it relates to someone's livelihood, how they've been earning a living, in the conventional sense, for a long time. The human impact is enormous.

The statement of the boss makes it very clear to the recipient and anyone reading it, what the reason and consequence of this management decision is.
 

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It looks like this change was inevitable, and an extension of existing practice, but until now freelance orchestra members haven't been affected. To quote the article, "there have been appreciable, steady advances on stage in this area, we have prioritised increased diversity in the orchestra."

Although it probably would have happened sooner or later, I feel sympathy for these musicians. Freelance work is already precarious, and to add to the blow, the current pandemic has already impacted on people financially and otherwise. The timing of the decision is appalling, and it seems there was little or no consultation beforehand.

Public policy like this is already likely to be controversial. Whatever the good intentions behind the policy, if it is implemented in this manner it makes it appear like yet another case of the end justifying the means.

Just reading between the lines, it could be that the former management postponed making this decision as long as they where in charge. New management might be eager to sweep the company with their broom as a sign of authority and to ensure compliance. New as well as existing employees will be reluctant to question future decisions.
 

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This thread seems predicated on the complaint that the ETO has ceased to make merit its priority. This would assume that merit was always the priority in the past, and that any resulting lack of diversity was entirely coincidental. Maybe that was the case, maybe it wasn't. But if we're going to subject ETO's new policy to such scrutiny, it may be worthwhile to consider their old one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Moved to the politics and religion sub-forum. Please continue to keep the discussion related to the effect of such policies on music and music performance.
I regret that this thread has been moved to a 'politics and religion' sub-forum because it is definitely not about politics or religion, but I welcome your warning to keep on the proper subject as the subject is extremely important and topical for classical music fans (the thread heading I chose is unhelpful and I'm happy for someone to change it).
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This measure taken by ETO bosses represents the early stages of an approach to classical music performance and recording that is certain to have a deleterious effect on the quality of said performances and recordings.

The Sinfonia of London, a pick-up band known for its performance excellence and high quality recordings, received exalted reviews for its recent Prom concert performance of Berg's 7 Early Songs, Ravel's La Valse and Erich Korngold's Symphony. However, one of the reviewers, Rebecca Franks of The Times, tacked on the end of her (Five Star) review, a concern that she felt the band was composed overwhelmingly of 'white men'. On scrutiny, this claim appears not to be safe, but that's neither here nor there.

If the ETO approach is correct, then it should be rolled out to other orchestras including the Sinfonia of London. The deleterious impact on music, musicians and classical music fans is obvious.

As someone born into and brought up in, a majority-black district of London, I have understandably developed a taste for reggae and I'm fortunate in having plenty of gigs around me. I do rather hope that Reggae bands are able to continue without interference.
 
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