Even during a pandemic, musicians are standing up for their rights. Over the weekend, New York City Opera Orchestra Musicians leafleted a performance of “Starry Night Classics” at The Freeman Stage in Selbyville, Delaware. Though the performance utilized the services of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, it was publicly billed and advertised as a New York City Opera production by Michael Capasso. NYCO’s agreement with Local 802 AFM requires it to utilize its rostered musicians for all of its performances.
Here is the text of the flyer that musicians passed out: “We applaud every attempt at a live performance in this time of COVID-19 and wish much success to the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, but we must share with you the fact that tonight’s Freeman Stage “Starry Night” opera is NOT actually being performed by the New York City Opera. As every major opera company head will acknowledge, the foundation of every opera company is its orchestra and chorus. The contract between New York City Opera and its musicians REQUIRES that it perform exclusively with members of the New York City Opera Orchestra. Your audience may be hearing singers who have appeared with the New York City Opera, but since the Opera’s orchestra is not involved in this performance, we believe calling this organization the New York City Opera is extremely misleading, deceptive, and untrue. The musicians distributing leaflets at tonight’s performance are members of the New York City Opera Orchestra.” Follow Local 802 on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.