Central City Opera and union reach agreement

AGMA announces the five-year agreement; summer season opens June 24

By Peter Alexander May 21 at 10:15 p.m.

The American Guild of Musical Artist (AGMA), a union representing singers, dancers and others who perform in musical productions, has announced that they have reached an agreement with Central City Opera that will allow the pending 2023 summer season to proceed.

Opening Night at Central City Opera. Featured in Central City Opera’s 75th anniversary book, Theatre of Dreams, The Glorious Central City Opera—Celebrating 75 Years.

According to AGMA’s release, dated May 18, “The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and Central City Opera (CCO) reached a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, beginning May 19, 2023, and running through September 1, 2027.” Significantly, the release also states that “AGMA was also able to insist that the agreement cover this season, rather than starting in September.” 

This means that the current summer festival season, running from June 24 through Aug. 6, will proceed as scheduled. As of this date, CCO has not made an announcement concerning the agreement, nor have they responded to requests for comment. Information on the 2023 summer festival and access to single ticket sales may be found HERE; summer subscriptions are available HERE.

As reported earlier, CCO and AGMA have been in negotiations for a new contract since Nov. 1, 2022. The previous contract expired near the end of last season, in August 2022. Since then the company and union have traded accusations, but in the past week both sides agreed to meet with professional mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

On May 8, CCO offered a four-year contract that did not include the current summer. The next day, May 9, AGMA’s Board of Governors authorized a possible strike that would have interrupted or canceled the summer season. On May 11, the two sides held a 14-hour negotiating session with federal mediators. A week later, May 18, AGMA announced the new five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

AGMA’s announcement quotes their national executive director, Sam Wheeler: “This was a long and challenging negotiation, but, in the end, we were able to reach an agreement that protects the welfare of artists working at CCO.” You may read the full statement from AGMA HERE.

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