Louisville Orchestra contract dispute may leave Kentucky Opera without pit band

Posted on: October 26, 2011

In Monday’s (10/24) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), Chris Otts writes, “The Kentucky Opera might use two pianists and a harpsichord rather than 35 Louisville Orchestra musicians for November’s performances of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ at the Brown Theatre, opera officials said Sunday. The American Federation of Musicians, which represents the players, on Friday placed the opera on its ‘unfair list,’ meaning any unionized musician who works for the opera could be fined. The dispute is closely related to the musicians’ lack of a contract with the Louisville Orchestra, which filed for bankruptcy in December. … In previous years, the opera hired the Louisville Orchestra to provide musicians for its productions, but that is not possible as long as the orchestra does not have a contract with the local unit of the musicians’ union. For September’s production of ‘Carmen,’ the opera hired the musicians directly through their union at the rates called for in the musicians’ old agreement with the orchestra. But in news release Sunday, opera officials said that arrangement was too expensive and cannot be repeated for ‘Figaro.’ … Joe Spain, president of the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637, which represents the Louisville musicians, declined to comment Sunday.”

Posted October 26, 2011