AGMA Ratifies 3-Year Agreement with Cincinnati Opera

Published May 24, 2022   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

The new collective bargaining agreement between AGMA and Cincinnati Opera was ratified by AGMA leadership, after being overwhelmingly approved by the shop.

Let’s celebrate some gains! There have been multiple additions and improvements to the contract language, particularly when it comes to Principal Artists, Staging Staff, and Young Artists; DEI; compensation and reimbursements; and updated language regarding dues deductions and individual artist agreements, including the use of digital contracts.



  • 3% increase in Year 1 (which includes the 2022 summer season)
  • 3% increase in Year 2
  • 2% increase in Year 3
  • Compensation for commercial recording projects
  • Increased retirement contribution rates, PLUS retirement contributions for Choristers beginning in 2023
  • Paid sick leave for Artists engaged for less than three months, including additional paid time for COVID-related absences
  • Delegate fees for staging staff, young artist, chorister, and principal delegates


  • Principal Per Performance Artists will receive 30% of the total amount of compensation that they are due upon arrival to Cincinnati, with the remainder divided by the number of contracted performances and paid in equal amounts at each performance
  • Assistant Stage Directors will be engaged through the end of the final performance for which they are engaged, for each Main Stage Event
  • Additional protections for Young Artists, including a defined program to provide specialized training, professional development, and educational opportunities, and limitations on working hours and activities


  • Out-of-town Principal Artists (including Young Artists), Stage Directors and their Assistants, Stage Managers and their Assistants, and Choreographers will either be provided with housing and a subsistence payment of $550 upon arrival in Cincinnati or will be provided with a $151.00 per diem (a 9% increase for per performance Artists and a 23% increase for weekly Artists)
  • All Artists who do not receive housing or a per diem will receive an $80 parking stipend with their first paycheck
  • Where Artists are required to provide their own concert dress, Artists will be reimbursed for laundering costs


  • Annual distribution of anti-racism and anti-sexual harassment materials and policies to all Cincinnati Opera employees, a confidential reporting process for violations of those policies, and the right to union representation through the reporting process
  • CO will post hiring opportunities in a broad range of outlets to assist in the recruitment of candidates from traditionally unrepresented groups in the opera industry
  • Protections against bias in casting like casting based on costume fit
  • CO will ensure that wigs and make-up will be supplied with awareness and sensitivity regarding skin and hair color and type, and flesh-toned garments will be in appropriate color for Artist skin tone
  • Commitment to the elimination of outdated and offensive stereotypes
  • Gender neutral language to be used throughout the agreement
  • When non-costume concert dress is required, Artists will be permitted to wear the concert attire that best reflects their gender identity
  • An intimacy coach/director will be used in productions with intimate scenes

As a reminder, AGMA members have access to all contracts & agreements on the website. MyAGMA login required.