City Opera Musicians Vote to Approve Contract

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 07:09 PM

New York City Opera's orchestra has approved a three-year contract deal, days after announcing it had reached a tentative agreement with the company's management. The agreement caps off months of contentious negotiations.

In a statement, Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians — the union representing the company's orchestra members — said the deal prevents a pay-per-performance model pushed by management.

But President Tino Gagliardi called the settlement "far from ideal," noting "deep concessions" made by musicians. No details on wages were released.

"Our great hope is that going forward, management can begin to make better decisions — increasing revenues and allowing for an eventual level of compensation that truly respects these A-list performers and honors the reputation of the 'People's Opera' as a world-class ensemble," he said in the statement.

The results of a ratification vote by another union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the chorus, haven't been released yet.

The financially struggling City Opera vacated its permanent home at Lincoln Center earlier this year. It also cut stuff, and scaled back its 2012 season to just a handful of performances.

Rehearsals got underway on Wednesday after an eight-day lockout of the musicians. The season is to open on Feb. 12 with Verdi's La Traviata at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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