AGMA  has warned the agents representing Lauren Flanigan and other singers appearing in New York City Opera’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon that a work stoppage on April 30 was a virtual certainty absent the successful resolution of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The current contract between AGMA and City Opera expires April 29th.  Although the contract required that both sides “begin negotiations in good faith prior to February 15, 2011”  NYCO failed to meet that obligation, but eventually scheduled the start of negotiations for April 4th.

Then, according to AGMA, “late in the day Friday April 1st, NYCO canceled the April 4 session, claiming that it’s new chairman had not yet had a chance to review the proposed budget for next season, and that it could not make proposals or respond to AGMA’s proposals until the chairman had sufficient time to consider the budget. NYCO has not yet proposed any subsequent dates.”

Alan Gordon, AGMA’s Executive Director, added, “Regrettably, it became obvious to us that NYCO is merely stalling the negotiating process.”

La Cieca has obtained a copy of the letter from AGMA to the NYCO artists’ managers:

April 12, 2011

To:  Agents Representing AGMA Members Appearing in
NYCO’s Production of Séance On A Wet Afternoon on April 30th

Your clients may not be aware that  the collective bargaining agreement between New York City Opera and the American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO expires on April 29, 2011. Thus far, NYCO has not engaged in bargaining with AGMA toward a successor agreement. NYCO’s postponement of announcing its next season until sometime in mid-May, makes the likelihood of concluding a new agreement that protects the jobs, wages and working conditions of AGMA members working for NYCO before April 29th remote.

Consequently, please advise your respective clients that a work stoppage on April 30th if no agreement is reached by April 29th seems a virtual certainty.

As you know, although your principal artist clients work at numerous opera houses, the men and women in the NYCO chorus and those who work in its production department, who have devoted their entire careers and working lives to NYCO, work only for NYCO. They do not deserve to suffer continuing losses of pay because of gross mismanagement. They have already made staggering sacrifices to help NYCO survive its fiscal problems and need, and expect, the understanding and support of their co-workers.

While we will endeavor to try to reach a new agreement by April 29th, your clients must be made aware of the real possibility that they will not be able to perform on April 30th.


Alan S. Gordon
Executive Director