Financial Analyst Steps in as Discussions Continue for Met Opera and Lockout is Delayed

The Metropolitan Opera, Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians and the American Guild of Musical Artists have agreed to a process for continuing their discussions. The previously announced lockout has been delayed.

As previously reported, contracts expired for 15 of the Met's 16 unions July 31, and the opera company's general manager, Peter Gelb, advised union members to prepare for a lockout.

It was recommended by the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to continue discussions, and all three parties have jointly agreed to retain an independent financial analyst — Eugene Keilin, a co-founder of KPS Capital Partners, LP — to perform a due diligence financial study of the Met and to render a non-binding report to the parties to assist them in reaching new collective bargaining agreements.

During this discussions process, the employees covered will continue to perform their regular assignments under the terms of their contracts, which expired at midnight July 31.

Gelb has cited ticket sales, rising operating costs and a depleted endowment as contributing to the financial problems.

James Odom, president of the American Guild of Musical Artists, said in a statement, "We are encouraged with this step forward that we believe will address the issues in contention and will ultimately lead to an agreement that is fair to everyone." Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians represent the musicians and the librarians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Associate Musicians and the Music Staff. AGMA represents the principal singers, choristers, dancers, stage directors, stage managers and staff performers.

Click here to read about the first lockout delay, when The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and supporters rallied Aug. 1 in Dante Park in front of Lincoln Center.

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