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Metropolitan Opera enters deal with stagehands locked out amid Covid-19

The stagehands’ contract expired last July 31 and the union had been locked out since December 8. The company has not performed since March 11, 2020, because of the pandemic, canceling 276 performances plus an international tour.

Dancer Sabrina Olivieri dances in front of the Revson Fountain in the Lincoln Center, home to the Metropolitan Opera House and New York City Ballet, in New York City on September 26, 2020.
Dancer Sabrina Olivieri dances in front of the Revson Fountain in the Lincoln Center, home to the Metropolitan Opera House and New York City Ballet, in New York City on September 26, 2020. (Reuters)

The Metropolitan Opera has reached an agreement on a labour contract with its locked out stagehands, the second of three major deals needed to resume performances in September following the pandemic.

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The agreement was reached early on Saturday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is subject to ratification by the union, which could take place as early as Tuesday.

Met spokeswoman Lee Abrahamian did not respond to a mess age seeking comment and Jamie Horwitz, spokesman for Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), declined comment Sunday.

Season to kick off with “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”

The stagehands’ contract expired last July 31 and the union had been locked out since December 8.

The Met reached an agreement in May with the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the orchestra. Its contract with Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents the orchestra, expires July 31, and negotiations are ongoing.

The company has not performed since March 11, 2020, because of the pandemic, cancelling 276 performances plus an international tour.

The Met announced plans to resume with a Verdi Requiem on September 11 to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The season is to start on Septebmer 27 with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.”

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