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Lyric Opera and IATSE Sign Multi-Year Labor Deal

Lyric Opera of Chicago and representatives of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced today that Stagehands Local 2, Wardrobe Local 769, Hair and Make-Up Local 476 and Treasurers and Ticket Sellers Local 750 entered into multi-year labor agreements. Each of these agreements was unanimously ratified by the membership of each IATSE local.

While agreement details vary, all the locals agreed to reduced crew sizes in each department and fewer guaranteed opera season weeks, allowing Lyric the flexibility to align the season schedule with audience demand.

Craig Carlson, Business Manager of Local 2 stated, "Opera, in general, is experiencing difficult economic times. Lyric has been a responsible employer for more than sixty years and as a good business partner, we're obligated to help them. It's important they maintain their standing as a world class opera company."

Dan Garnett, Business Manager of Local 750 said, "Ticket sales for classical events of all kinds have declined substantially both in Chicago and across the country. Obviously, these are challenging times for them. It just makes sense for us to work with Lyric, so we can all get through this together."

Thomas Pusateri, Business Manager of Wardrobe Local 769 stated, "While this agreement reduces weeks in the opera season, Lyric has added dance performances and musicals that give our members new opportunities. We don't use as many people on musicals or dance, but we need to be good team players."

Mark Hogan, Local 476 Business Manager representing Hair and Make-Up Artists said, "We allowed smaller crew sizes and fewer weekly guarantees to insure Lyric remains viable. We'd rather have part of something than all of nothing."

Matt Walters, Central Region Business Representative of Scenic Artists Local 829 commented, "We've worked with Lyric through difficult times before. This is no different and we remain committed to evolve with them."

Anthony Freud, General Director of Lyric Opera stated, "Lyric Opera is looking forward to an exciting and successful future by recognizing the challenges of a rapidly changing and unpredictable business environment and by adapting in order to benefit from its opportunities. We appreciate our IATSE family's commitment to excellence, hard work and spirit of cooperation. We look forward to our continued collaboration as the company evolves."

Lyric Opera of Chicago's mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric's current season, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1819 #LongLivePassion

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