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Met AGMA Negotiating Committee Update

Published April 19, 2021   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

Greetings from the Met AGMA Negotiating Committee!

Though every email and social media post the last 11 weeks has ended with our names and categories, we want to better introduce ourselves. We are a diverse group of 36 Artists, representing every category of AGMA working at the Metropolitan Opera. We are the Artists for a better Met.

As Met Dancer Sarah Weber Gallo recently said, "We are working toward tangible, systemic, and sustainable change at the Met. Any partnership in bettering our company requires trust, respect, and a shared commitment to raising up all voices."

We will continue to challenge racism, sexism, and all systemic issues Artists face in their workplaces. We know that true change in the Arts will take more than just words. We remain in these intense and emotional negotiations with the Met for a new collective bargaining agreement not only so we can return to work in the fall, but so that we will return to a restructured industry.

We are happy to provide you the following update.

What Happened Last Week

  • Progress on DEI proposals including restrictions on casting based upon body type and discussion on auditions screening and criteria
  • Substantial proposal on a Met-wide unified break structure, including mandating breaks for Soloists and Staff Performers
  • Movement toward increasing jurisdiction and representation of Met Artists beyond the opera house

What’s Happening This Week

  • Discussion of financial resources available to the Met, including government grants and new regulations
  • Focus on Safety
    • Sufficient stage time for all performers, including covers
    • Prompt notification for last-minute changes to lighting and effects
    • Protections for Artists who voice safety concerns
    • Conversation about air quality issues in the opera house 

As Always

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ned Hanlon, Negotiating Committee Chair, at ehanlo@gmail.com, Eastern Counsel Sam Wheeler, swheeler@musicalartists.org, or any of your delegates and committee members.

Stay Connected!

Our Negotiating Committee Communications Team will continue to send out weekly updates on bargaining to Met Artists via email (we encourage you to forward these emails to friends!) and through social media. To avoid email fatigue, all other AGMA membership will receive less-frequent updates than that but are encouraged to follow our Met AGMA groups on social media: @MetOperaChorus @MetOperaSupers @MetOperaBallet. These accounts are run by AGMA Artists!

In solidarity,

Your Met AGMA Negotiating Committee:

Ned Hanlon, Committee Chair; Ross Benoliel, Chorister; Richard Bernstein, Soloist; Shay Bland, Dancer; Helena Brown, Extra Chorister; Antuan Byers, Dancer; Stephanie Chigas, Chorister; Florencio Cora, Staff Performer; Lianne Coble-Dispensa, Chorister; Jōvan Dansberry, Dancer; Karen Dixon, Chorister; Anne Dyas, Staff Performer; Tobin Eason, Dancer; Ashley Emerson, Soloist; Kenneth Floyd, Chorister; Theresa Ganley, Stage Manager; Katharine Goeldner, Soloist; David Gonsier, Dancer; Katherine Hozier, Dancer; Mary Hughes, Chorister; Nathaniel Hunt, Dancer; Matthew Kernisky, Staff Performer; Jarrod Lee, Extra Chorister; Shawna Lucey, Stage Director; Megan Marino Mayes, Soloist; Brandon Mayberry, Chorister; Scott Moon, Stage Manager; Maria Phegan, Dancer; Daniel Rigazzi, Stage Director; Mark Schowalter, Soloist; Elizabeth Sciblo, Soloist Delegate; Bradley Schelver, Dancer; Marcus Shields, Stage Director; Daniel Smith, Chorister; Andrew Stenson, Soloist; Sarah Weber-Gallo, Dancer