Things May Be Coming To Head At The Met

First AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists) settled and now IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees). While neither side in the agreement has released information about the deal, the folks over at have an inside source that says Met General Director Peter Gelb fell far short of the cuts he went to war over.

Per information supplied to OperaWire, the agreement was struck early on Saturday morning and includes a three percent wage cut and a 4 1/2 percent annuity cut for three years. There will also be a lump sum payment equal to eight weeks of bridge pay as well as several other concessions on both sides, per the source.

The only other major union to settle is the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) and while that agreement could fall into place at any time, the history of Gelb’s pandemic labor war tactics dictate it’s better not to assume.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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