The moment the strike began yesterday morning, the musicians were ready with their side of the story – that the Lyric is spending on everything except the orchestra.
It took five hours for the Lyric to respond. When it did, this was what went out:
Thank you for supporting Lyric Opera. Unfortunately, the following performances and events have been canceled due to a strike by the Chicago Federation of Musicians Local #10-208:
-Lyric Uncorked, tonight (October 9) at 6pm
-Puccini’s LA BOHÈME on Thursday, October 11 at 2pm
-Open House Chicago, Saturday, October 13 at 9am
-Opening Night of Mozart’s IDOMENEO on Saturday, October 13 at 7:30pm
We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and we hope you will join us on another date. We ask that current ticket holders check their email for more information.
Thank you again for your support, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Email Audience Services at email@example.com or call 312.827.5600 and one of our specialists will assist you.
The public response on the Lyric’s site has been overwhelmingly furious. Samples:
– You thank opera goers for their support, but nearly all of us support the musicians. Whomever manages your social media strategy is doing as terrible a job as managing Lyric the past few years. I’m incredibly upset that I might not see Idomeno next week.
– My subscription dates from 1955. The Lyric Opera is NOTHING without its orchestra. It is a world-class orchestra and should be treated as such.
– That is a shame. Freud, with his $800,000 annual salary and the musicians begging a for a wage increase by the rate of inflation. I am Lyric Opera Orchestra!
– I find it shameful that as a subscriber and a donor, no communication was sent to your “family.” I can’t believe I had to hear this from an article in Crain’s forwarded by a friend. Where was your rollout and communication plan? Poor management and development!
– Why has “the company general director’s salary increased 18% from 2014 to 2017 to over $800,000[?!]
…his 16% jump in 2016 came immediately after the musicians agreed to a cost-neutral contract with cuts to health care.”
– This Saturday’s performance was going to be attended by the Lyric Youth Council. You are turning away teenagers who are your future donors and subscribers. Shameful and destructive.