Week Four: Met AGMA Negotiating Committee Update

Published March 1, 2021   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy as we near the one-year mark of the pandemic’s shutdown of our industry. We know we are all doing our best and trying to stay positive.

Hard to believe, but today we enter our fourth week of bargaining with the Met. Last week, we began a detailed costing evaluation to understand the true effects of the Met’s drastic proposed cuts; we heard an appeal from Dancers to take steps to address their department’s work culture; we made significant progress on several proposals, including restructuring the contract payment schedule for soloists, and increasing access to principal artist auditions for choristers and extra choristers; and we followed up on various outstanding Committee questions and concerns.

What’s Happening This Week:

  • Continued evaluation of the impact of Met proposals on Artists
  • Our initial consideration shows that a number of unacceptable proposals would make working at the Met both financially untenable and unsafe
  • Once the full impact of the proposals are understood, the committee will assess if any present true opportunities to make the company stronger, while not permanently gutting contracts or threatening Artists' livelihoods

So far, throughout our bargaining period, we have devoted days to the specific concerns of Stage Directors and Dancers. This week, we focus on the needs of Choristers. This focus will include:

  •  Securing chorister input on decisions that affect their quality of life
  • Ensuring unused benefits carry over to the next season
  • Receiving fair compensation for extra choristers for performances added to a production run
  •  Increasing equity in pay and casting

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your ongoing support. We have at least four more weeks left to go, and every positive word we have received from our fellow Artists means the world to us and helps motivate us to keep pushing!

As Met Chorister Brandon Mayberry said, "We are the heart of this institution and our collective worth is not just measured in dollars and bottom lines. We are Artists, we ARE the Met.”

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

Stay Connected!

Our Negotiating Committee Communications Team sends 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