New York City Opera Orchestra Settles Grievances With NYCO Management

By Francisco Salazar

AFM Local 802 has announced that the musicians of the New York City Opera have settled with the New York City Opera management, thanks to “successful efforts by the NYCO orchestra committee” and legal claims brought by Local 802 attorney Harvey S. Mars.

The settlement comes after grievances were brought about when NYCO management failed to abide by the contract and did not hire rostered musicians.  The first grievance occurred during a recording made and used during the premiere of the opera “Stonewall,” which had its world premiere in 2019 in time for the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riots.

The second grievance occurred in the summer of 2020 when NYCO management committed a separate contract violation when it advertised a concert in Delaware that described itself as “partnering” with another orchestra and used musicians not associated with the NYCO. Before the concert orchestra members handed out leaflets stating that representation of the Opera company as a part of the event was “misleading, deceptive, and untrue.”

In a statement, NYCO Committee Chair Mark Shuman said, “Without our union contract, we could not have achieved this settlement. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when we act together as a union,”

As a result of the settlement, eight musicians will receive pay and benefits for the “Stonewall” recording.