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Lyric Opera Calls Orchestra Strike “Unnecessary and Harmful”

photo by Emily Mathews

In an update to the story we published this morning on the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra’s announced strike this morning, the Marketing and Communications department has issued a response.

The Chicago Federation of Musicians (CFM) Local #10-208 is on strike at Lyric Opera. This unnecessary and harmful action may require Lyric to cancel performances,” Vice President of Marketing and Communications Lisa Middleton said. “Ryan Opera Center, Lyric Unlimited and other related activities also will be affected. Additional updates will be provided as these determinations are made.”

The response also cites that unions representing the chorus and stage performers already came to an agreement without resorting to strike.

We offered CFM wage increases in exchange for a reduction in guaranteed work weeks that better aligns with audience demand and increased scheduling flexibility that will allow us to access additional rental income,” Middleton said. “The leadership of our other two unions – the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) – recognized the need for these essential changes and have agreed to multi-year agreements.  Only CFM refused. Lyric urges CFM to continue to talk and perform.

You can read the entire response here, and follow the strike on the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra Facebook page here.

Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.

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