Archive for May 2008

RSS Feeds

Musicians Stage Protest

Florida Grand Opera orchestra musicians vacated the orchestra pit as an act of solidarity at performances of La Boheme at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on May 8 and 10, in protest of the Opera's refusal to recognize them as employees of the Opera company. After their usual pre-performance warm-ups, the orchestra quietly removed their instruments and left the pit en masse, while CEO and General Director Robert Heuer made his pre-performance speech from the stage overlooking the empty pit.


FGO Musician FAQs

What do the FGO musicians want?

The musicians wish Florida Grand Opera to recognize that the Opera is the true employer of the musicians. They also wish the Opera to recognize the musicians' union as their bargaining representative.


It's Not About Money

The Florida Grand Opera has stated that they cannot afford to directly employ musicians. However, the numbers seem to indicate otherwise. Employing musicians directly would not add to their payroll costs as the opera already pays the musicians' wages (through Sunset Entertainment). 

Florida Grand Opera also pays a significantly smaller percent of their budget to the orchestra than other opera companies do, as the chart below illustrates. 


United Teachers of Dade Stewards Express Support

Mr. Heuer,
I regret to inform you that my wife and I choose not to renew our subscription with the Florida Grand Opera next year unless you reach an agreement with your orchestral musicians. As elected representatives of United Teachers of Dade (AFL-CIO) at our respective schools, we find any activity to stifle the rights of your employees to organize deplorable. I also intend to contact our organization to see if we may provide any further support and assistance in this matter.
Seth and Katie Patterson
Music Teachers/UTD Stewards