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Monday, August 1, 2011

San Francisco Opera Union Negotiations Went So Well That We All Get More Opera

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 2:40 PM

The San Francisco Opera's recent production of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), Die Walküre - CORY WEAVER
  • Cory Weaver
  • The San Francisco Opera's recent production of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), Die Walküre

The San Francisco Opera Association (management) and the American Federation of Musicians Local 6 (music workers) just announced that they are all very happy.

For one thing, the new three-year contract they agreed on somehow gets the workers the raises they want, while also saving management money. That there is stage magic, which we, you know, applaud.

Also, everyone's excited about a separate agreement between the national union organization and the opera organization (being replicated, per the union, around the country at symphonies and ballets as well) that provides better use of the opera's high-definition media center. The agreement includes distribution facilitation.

Translation: They'll be able to make more opera -- new and archival, think of how cool that is -- available via more recorded platforms. We hold out hope that this will mean more simulcast-at-the-ballpark-type events, because those are wicked fun.

More of that union-shop Wagner. - CORY WEAVER
  • Cory Weaver
  • More of that union-shop Wagner.

"Opera may come from 'the Old World,'" says the opera's general director David Gockley, and you can guess where he's going with that. But he makes a great point, one that seems deeply San Francisco to us, since lots of us like that old/new, high-tech/low-tech, retro/futuristic mix -- so we're happy, too! (In case you didn't guess where he was going with that, "But this agreement clearly takes us into the new world and enables us to further entertain, educate and enchant new generations of opera lovers.")

The opera season opens Sept. 9 with Giacomo Puccini's Turandot.

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