“The Lyric Opera Orchestra, on strike since last Tuesday, has ratified a labor agreement with the opera company,” reports Howard Reich in Monday’s (10/15) Chicago Tribune. “The decision came late Sunday afternoon, after a tentative agreement had been struck between union leadership and Lyric Opera on Saturday evening. The agreement calls for the orchestra to be reduced by four musicians, instead of five, taking the full-time ensemble down to 70 from 74. Freelance musicians will continue to be hired for opera productions that require a larger orchestra. The 2019-20 opera season will run 22 weeks, instead of 24, as Lyric Opera management had insisted. But the season will include a guarantee of five additional weeks for Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring’ Cycle. The spring musical will guarantee employment to 37 musicians and will increase their salary by 6.6 percent…. In effect, the orchestra members will receive a higher rate of pay—5.6 percent increase in weekly salary over the three-year contract term, according to a statement from the orchestra—but fewer weeks of work…. Tickets are now on sale for Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ on Wednesday evening and the opening of Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’ on Thursday evening.”

Posted October 15, 2018

In photo: Last week, Jeremy Mueller, left, and other on-strike musicians from the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra performed as their colleagues marched at the Civic Opera House in Chicago. Photo credit: Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via Associated Press