New York City Opera Orchestra & Union Stand Against ‘Starry Night Classics’ Concert

By David Salazar

Members of the New York City Opera Orchestra and the Local 802 American Federation of Musicians leafleted the “Starry Night Classics” performance on August 15, 2020.

Prior to the concert, which was billed as a team-up between the New York City Opera and Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the musicians of the NYCO handed out leaflets stating that representation of the Opera company as a part of the event was “misleading, deceptive, and untrue.”

“We applaud every attempt at live performance in this time of COVID-19, and wish much success to the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, but we must share with you the fact that tonight’s Freeman Stage Starry Night Opera is NOT actually being performed by the New York City Opera,” said the leaflet. “As every major opera company head will acknowledge, the foundation of every opera company is its orchestra and chorus. The contract between New York City Opera and its musicians REQUIRES that it perform exclusively with members of the New York City Opera Orchestra. Your audience may be hearing singers who have appeared with the New York City Opera, but since the Opera’s orchestra is not involved in this performance, we believe calling this organization the New York City Opera is extremely misleading, deceptive, and untrue.”

The concert was hosted by Michael Capasso, General Director of the New York City Opera.