Dear Lyric Family,
It has been an extraordinarily traumatic time for our country. At times like these, there are no words that seem adequate, and yet we cannot stay silent as we process the grief, the anger, and the deep sense of sadness that we are experiencing together. We are outraged and heartbroken by the devastating, senseless, violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the loss of too many other Black lives in America, many bearing names we do not know because they never had justice.
To those who are grieving, especially in communities of color, Lyric stands alongside you. We wholeheartedly condemn the strongly rooted systemic racism that plays out every day in our communities.
We know that opera has a problematic history with race – with dedicated work, we do not believe that this has to be its future. We recognize that we have work to do. And we are committed to doing that work.
We pledge our commitment to listening, learning, and using our platform to help eradicate racism, to amplify the voices of those who have been marginalized, and to advance racial justice and equity.
We believe that an art form based in storytelling through music has unlimited potential to explore the stories of disenfranchised voices, and that opera has become stronger for the creation of works that have started to emerge from these stories. We know that artists of color are still struggling to be heard and that we must all collectively do more to champion their work.
But it’s not only about what happens on our stage. It’s about improving the experience for audiences of color in our theater. It’s about being more successful at recruiting diverse individuals for our staff and board as well as vendors and contractors. It’s about working even more closely with our community partners to provide them with the support and resources they need to ensure their voices are heard. And so much more.
We know there is work to be done, and that it all starts with dialogue. We invite you to share your thoughts on how you’d like to see Lyric create change here. Your feedback will be shared with our steering committees on both the board and staff levels who advance issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility on an ongoing basis. We are committed to using your valuable input as we take action.
To hear the collective cry for change is the glimmer of light at this dark but pivotal moment. We have seen tens of thousands of people joining together in passionate, peaceful protests in cities across America and around the world to affirm that there is hard work that must be done before any healing can begin. At Lyric, we know this to be true.
This is a time for listening, and a time for change. We ask you to join us in charting the way forward.
General Director, President & CEO
The Women’s Board Endowed Chair