The Met edges towards a chorus deal

The Met edges towards a chorus deal


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera has inked a four-year deal with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), one of its three major unions.

The deal, covering chorus, singers, dancers, actors, stage managers and staff directors, needs to be ratified by a members’ vote on May 24. If approved, it will take effect on August 1. No details have leaked so far.

Nor is there anty deal in sight for the orchestra and the stagehands, whose union say it’s extremely unlikely they will allow the Met to reopen this year. Peter Gelb locked them out last December and is trying to hire outside workers to start set construction.

Here’s all we know:


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  • Monsoon says:

    Alternate analysis: There isn’t unity among the Met’s labor unions.

    And AGMA’s very positive statement about the agreement looks to be a message to the stage hands and orchestra to get on board too.

    • New Yorker says:

      well, they are far weaker than the other two so I doubt anyone is taking cues to “get on board” with whatever they agreed to…..

      • Tiredofitall says:

        After more than a year, these artists are desperate. And who can blame them? No one wants to cave for Gelb’s ineptitude, but this is their livelihood and career.

        • Monsoon says:

          Gelb also has a lot of leverage — nobody can deny that ticket revenue is $0 and attendance is likely to be way down for the next few seasons, even with the best marketing and audience friendly production.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    The stand offs between management and unions at the MET have a long lineage. I suppose the next longest running show in Lincoln Sq would be La Boheme.

    I know it is open season against Gelb but I do wonder, when NL can say that the orchestra and stagehands will not allow the MET to reopen this year, who could avoid this threat other than conceding their demands which Gelb might yet be forced to do. And if he does it will be another example of why he must go. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t?

    Gelb is dispensible, ultimately everyone of us is, but whoever takes over still faces an intractable set of labor unions who care not who they negotiate with as long as they just give in to their demands. Gelb can lock out the employees from the MET but they can it dark just as easily as he.