Striking Lyric Opera musicians ratify tentative contract, will return to work

CHICAGO Ill. — The musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra ratified a “tentative” agreement with management Sunday, ending a strike that began October 9 when the orchestra walked off the job during an impasse in negotiations.

The musicians voted to approve the contract proposal Sunday. In a statement, union representative Lewis Kirk said, “music needs to return to the Civic Opera House.”

“Further cancellations by Lyric management were threatened, and the result would have been destructive for everyone – Lyric, the musicians and other Lyric employees, and Lyric’s loyal patrons,” Kirk said. “In the end, both parties compromised.”

Among the compromises are a slight reduction in the size of the orchestra and the length of the season, and a slight increase in pay, Kirk said.

Sunday’s scheduled performance of La Boheme was canceled so musicians can take the contract vote, but operations are expected to return to normal on Monday.