Union Files Complaint to Stop Move of Opera from Lincoln Center

Thursday, May 26, 2011  |  Updated 6:52 PM EDT
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Union Files Complaint to Stop Move of Opera from Lincoln Center

AP

The David H. Koch Theater in New York's Lincoln Center will no longer be the home of the New York City Opera.

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A union representing singers has filed a federal complaint against the troubled New York City Opera, saying the company's plans to move out of Lincoln Center after 45 years are aimed at undermining the labor rights of performers.

The American Guild of Musical Artists says the opera's move to a smaller venue and a shorter schedule will mean less work for union members. It filed a complaint on Thursday with the National Labor Relations Board saying the opera should have negotiated with the union.

The union represents about 200 workers at the opera, including about 50 choristers and 10 production workers.

City Opera announced last week it was moving out of Lincoln Center and will do only three full-scale operas next season instead of five.

The New York City Opera is revered as a pillar of American culture that has delivered daring new productions and built the careers of such stars like Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming and Beverly Sills.

But for some time, the opera has been struggling. The company's endowment has dwindled from $55 million to $9 million, according to audits obtained by the AP. And City Opera has put off announcing its 2011-2012 season as it faces a projected deficit of $5 million.

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