‘We are the Met’: Opera Unions Rally Against Proposed Pay Cuts

Labor News, Industry News

Photo by IATSE.

Reprinted from The New York Times by Julia Jacobs and 

As New York prepares for the long-awaited reopening of its performing arts sector, with several Broadway shows putting tickets on sale for the fall, it is still unclear whether the Metropolitan Opera will be able to reach the labor agreements it needs to bring up its heavy golden curtain for the gala opening night it hopes to hold in September.

There have been contrasting scenes playing out at the opera house in recent days.

On the hopeful side, the Met is preparing for two concerts in Queens on Sunday — the company’s first live, in-person performances featuring members of its orchestra and chorus and its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, since the start of the pandemic. And it recently reached a deal on a new contract with the union that represents its chorus, soloists, dancers and stage managers, among others.

But the serious tensions that remain with the company’s other unions were put on vivid display outside Lincoln Center on Thursday, as hundreds of union members rallied in opposition to the Met’s lockout of its stagehands and management’s demands for deep and lasting pay cuts it says are needed to survive the pandemic. The workers’ message was clear: their labor makes the Met what it is, and without them, the opera can’t reopen. …

NY Times 5/13

About Jeffrey Burman 861 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at [email protected].