Mu­si­cians from lead­ing US opera com­pany go on strike

Global Times US Edition - - LIFE -

One of the lead­ing opera com­pa­nies in the US has can­celed two per­for­mances set for this week af­ter its or­ches­tra went on strike over cost-cut­ting pro­pos­als.

Mu­si­cians oc­cu­pied a picket line out­side Lyric Opera of Chicago’s doors on Wed­nes­day, ob­ject­ing to man­age­ment plans to re­duce the or­ches­tra’s size and to­tal num­ber of per­for­mances.

The strike be­gan on Tues- day af­ter talks broke down be­tween the two sides.

The com­pany says its ticket sales and sub­scrip­tions are down in “a trend opera com­pa­nies na­tion­wide are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.”

Or­ches­tra mem­bers con­tend how­ever that the com­pany is ne­glect­ing opera per­for­mances in fa­vor of mu­si­cal theater and other ini­tia­tives.

“All we’re ask­ing is to main­tain what we have,” Lyric vi­o­lin­ist Kath­leen Brauer told AFP.

“Any­thing less than that is not wor­thy of this world-class in­sti­tu­tion.”

The 65-year-old com­pany can­celed per­for­mances of Puc­cini’s La Bo­heme and Mozart’s Idome­neo planned for this week.

Over the last 10 years, Lyric has re­duced its an­nual num­ber of opera per­for­mances from 86 to 56, “be­cause that’s the max­i­mum num­ber sup­ported by au­di­ence de­mand,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

It has asked mu­si­cians for a reduction in the num­ber of weeks they are guar­an­teed pay and a five-per­son reduction in the or­ches­tra’s full-time ros­ter.

“Lyric’s cur­rent con­tract re­quires Lyric to pay mu­si­cians for 24 weeks of work when its sea­son is only 22 weeks,” the com­pany said.

The com­pany said it

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