AGMA Ratifies Four-Year Contract with Santa Fe Opera

Published January 18, 2024   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

The new collective bargaining agreement between AGMA and Santa Fe Opera was approved by AGMA leadership on December 11, 2023, after being overwhelmingly ratified by the shop.

Thank you to the negotiating committee, and congratulations on this 4-year agreement!



  • Compensation/per diem increases:
    • 3% for first year*
      • *2% for Production Staff, who requested to redistribute their increase to bring the base pay up for newly covered Production Assistants
    • 3% in the second year
    • 3% in the third year​
    • 3.25% in fourth year
  • 35% upfront payments for per performance Principal Artists upon arrival ​
  • Increase to contributions in lieu of health care of 3% in each year ​
  • Increases to Apprentice travel stipend between 7% and 13% (based on distance) over the CBA term ​
  • Guaranteed 3 days of sick leave for Artists during the first 4 weeks of employment
  • Increase to the carpool allowance by 15% over the CBA term ​
  • Increase to the Production Staff’s overtime pay:
    • 7.5% in year 1
    • 3% in year 2
    • 3% in year 3
    • 3.25% in year 4 ​
  • 60% increase over the term of the CBA to the Apprentice Artist housing stipend as well as Full housing stipend up front ​
  • Media Fee increases of:
    • 3% in 2025
    • 3% in 2026
    • 3% in 2027
    • 3.25% in 2028

Principals/Young Artists:

  • Addition of a Principal Artist Delegate ​
  • Clarification of when “Cover” Artists would be issued AGMA Artist Contracts for Employment ​
  • Each Principal Cover will be given a wardrobe consultation prior to opening night ​
  • Expanded guaranteed pay for Apprentice Artists appearing as Supers
  • Apprentice scenes rehearsals or performances will no longer be permitted on a Free Day ​
  • New fee established for Apprentice Artists performing Chorus Bit roles under certain circumstances ​
  • In the final week of the Festival Season, Apprentice Delegates and 2nd Year Apprentices will be afforded the opportunity to meet and offer feedback to Management with regards to the Apprentice Singers Program

Production Staff:

  • Maintenance/wear and tear weekly stipend ($20) for all Production Staff who use their own vehicles throughout the season (in addition to the mileage/travel stipend) ​
  • Stage Managers and ASM’s guaranteed 1 prep week for any production (previously only guaranteed with a new production) ​
  • Stage Managers assigned to more than 1 production during the Festival season will be guaranteed 2 prep weeks (previously only guaranteed with new productions)


  • In cases where a Dancer is required to use their own shoes for rehearsals or performances, the Dancer shall receive a rental fee for each week in which Dancer's own shoes are used ​
  • If pointe work is required, it shall be included on any audition notice for Dancers. Information regarding the stage and rehearsal flooring, as well as the appropriate number of pointe shoes the Dancer will require, will be discussed with each Dancer undertaking pointe work prior to the first rehearsal
  • If a Dancer is required to use their own Pointe Shoes for rehearsals or performances, the Dancer shall receive $100.00 per week for each week in which Dancer’s own shoes are used, in addition to all other compensation ​
  • Management will make an appropriate space available for all Dancers to warm up before rehearsals and performances and will ensure such space will have barres and marley flooring


  • ​Added new category of covered Artist: Production Assistant with minimum terms and conditions including guaranteed compensation*, health coverage, Overtime, carpool/vehicle allowance, sick leave, travel allowance, media payments as well as general terms and conditions applicable to all Artists​
    • *The rates established for these Artists reflect a 13% increase in year 1 of the CBA to the non-union rates the PAs were receiving
  • Established terms and minimums for Corps Dancers who previously were not contemplated in the CBA (only SOLO dancer terms existed) 


  • Gender Neutral Terms used throughout ​
  • Anti-discrimination and harassment prevention training will be considered Artist activity ​
  • Removal of problematic language referencing casting based on body type or costume availability ​
  • New religious Observance language ​
  • Expansion of non-discrimination protections to include gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, hair textures and hair styles historically linked to race, genetic characteristics and information, linguistic characteristics (such as accent or limited English proficiency where not substantially job related), pregnancy as defined in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, parental status, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status
  • Existing DEIA Committee will now include up to 2 AGMA Artist seats ​
  • To address allergies, Management will notify any Artist auditioning for a production of the intended use of products or live animals in such production, that are known to impact individuals with common allergies, insofar as such use is known at the time of the audition
  • Removal of problematic language in “Change of Appearance” language that references size of the Artist ​
  • Expansion of Audition language including new Management obligation to provide information to AGMA regarding auditions for Dancers, Extra Choristers and Apprentices with any specific requirements ​
  • Intimacy Coach must be used for any scenes including nudity, simulated sex, kissing, and similar elements ​
  • A Fight Director will stage all fight scenes, including for any cover staging rehearsals​