Lyric singers agree to 5% pay cut
BY ANDREW PATNER August 22, 2011 7:02PM
The union representing Lyric Opera of Chicago’s principal singers, choristers, non-singing actors, dancers and production staff has ratified a one-year contract calling for a 5 percent cut in base salaries.
Details of the contract with the American Guild of Musical Artists were released Monday afternoon after its ratification by all parties.
Management had wanted a multiyear pact with heavy sacrifices by AGMA. The union had hoped for a one-season agreement with a freeze on pay and benefits.
One sticking point: Lyric’s plans for an annual off-season music theater production, to start with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” in spring 2013. Although the dates for this initiative do not fall under the new contract, the parties agreed on a framework for terms on cast sizes and other matters, said Alan Gordon, AGMA national executive director.
According to a statement released by Lyric president and CEO Kenneth G. Pigott, this means “Oklahoma!” now can be presented “within a cost structure that is competitive with other Chicago producers.”
Lyric’s 2011-12 season begins Oct. 1 with “Tales of Hoffmann.”