Metropolitan Opera Announces Sunday Performances & New Season Structure

By Francisco Salazar

The Metropolitan Opera and Union Groups have reached an agreement that will allow Sunday matinee performances for the first time in the company’s history.

The Met’s management and representatives of two of its largest union groups, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 (orchestra, music staff, librarians), and the American Guild of Musical Artists (chorus, singers, dancers, stage staff, staff performers), reached the agreement for a new contract after months of bargaining throughout the summer.  The agreement is still subject to ratification by the AGMA Board of Governors next week.

Per a press release, “Sunday matinee performances will start next season in the fall of 2019. Additionally, beginning with the season following that in 2020, there will be a further restructuring of the performance schedule to allow a mid-winter break in the performance schedule.”

The press release also noted that “the Met will shift performances from February, traditionally a period when less people attend the opera, to later in the spring, a period more appealing to audiences.  Instead of concluding in mid-May, future seasons will end in mid-June.”

Met General Manager Peter Gelb noted, “This was a successful outcome for all parties. 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 agreement will also include an approximately 8% increase over three years and a modest pension enhancement. It was also agreed that employees will begin to make contributions to the costs of the Met’s health insurance benefits program, representing a significant saving for the company.