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14 September 2018

Metropolitan Opera and Unions Reach Agreement to Present Sunday Matinee Performances Beginning in 2019

News Met Opera Sunday 918

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA announced today that it will present Sunday matinee performances for the first time in the company's history beginning in the fall of 2019. 

The shift in the performance schedule came after the Met reached a landmark agreement with the unions representing the company's musicians and chorus. The agreement, which was ratified today after a summer of bargaining, is between the Met's management and representatives of two of its largest unions, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 — representing the company's orchestra, music staff, librarians — and the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents chorus, singers, dancers, stage staff and staff performers. The agreement is still subject to ratification by the AGMA Board of Governors next week.

As reported in the New York Times, the Met plans to schedule up to seventeen Sunday matinees during its 2019-2020 season, and up to twenty-seven Sunday matinees the following season. During the weeks when the Met presents performances on Sunday, Monday evenings will be dark. 

In addition to the presentation of Sunday performances, the Met announced that, beginning with its 2020-21 season, there would be a further restructuring of the performance schedule to allow a mid-winter break. The company will shift performances from February, traditionally a period when fewer people attend the opera, to later in the spring, meaning that the Met season would conclude in mid-June instead of in May. According to the New York Times, the American Ballet Theater will reduce the term of its residency at the Met to five weeks from the current eight to allow for the shift. 

“This was a successful outcome for all parties," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb in a statement issued today by the companies. "Sunday matinees and the future realignment of the season will ensure the ongoing success of the Met. We’re grateful to our company members for recognizing and accepting these important changes.” 

The new contractual agreement between the company and its two largest unions also includes a 3% wage increase and modest pension benefits. In addition, it was also agreed that Met employees will begin to make contributions to the costs of the Met's health insurance benefits program. 

The Met’s management continues to negotiate with representatives of other union groups, whose contacts expired at the end of July. spacer 

More information can be found at The Metropolitan Opera

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