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Subject: Re: STRIKE!!!
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 11 Oct 2018 06:14:26 -0400
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Haven't been to Lyric for a while--for me, I think there was a turning point 
when they sort of reduced mounting the operas I enjoyed most and started 
ignoring a lot of prominent voices in favor of lesser known one / American 
ones / favorites.  I'm sure someone on the list will correct me on this 
because I sort of stopped engaging with the house.  My sense was that their 
mission statement changed somehow (perhaps to become the 'American' opera 
house?) and their rep reflected that.  I'm sure many loved the changes and 
perhaps it served the interests of the local population that is just fine: 
has Lyric ever been an international opera destination?  (Asking honestly; 
I don't know.)

As for the strike, I think part of the problem was that while the Lyric was 
growing its endowment, they didn't pass any of the success onto the 
musicians.  If I remember the figures in the article, it seems the musicians 
have not had a raise in a considerable time and that there has been no 
adjustment to those salaries for inflation or any other factor.  Of course 
this meant that they were working the same for increasingly less money over 
time.

As for the reduced performance year, that is simply a fact of life in the 
modern world of opera.  If the audience isn't there and the outreach process 
has enticed new fans, it's a reasonable response.  And Lyric was not going 
to deprive anyone of a job:  their reduction of five players would be 
through retirement or attrition.  No one's job hung in the balance--unless 
the players anticipated some undercurrent of pressure from management to 
hurry that attrition along.

All in all, a sad case, one that perhaps could have been avoided if 
management had simply implemented some sort of cost of living adjustments 
over the years.  Now, sadly, the players, the management, and the fans will 
suffer.

I wish all the best and hope this thing is quickly and satisfactorily 
settled.

K

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