Orchestra Musicians Strike At Lyric Opera

Steve Miller
October 09, 2018 - 3:24 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Lyric Opera has been hit with a musicians strike, which is threatening a performance later in the week of one of the world's most popular operas.

Striking musicians -- members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians -- picketed outside the Civic Opera House on Tuesday.

Some played for people passing by.

The point they're trying to make: A world-class opera needs a world-class orchestra.

"They have asked us -- demanded, in fact -- that we cut our season by two weeks,” said violinist Kathleen Brauer, spokeswoman for the union. "They are demanding that we give up five people in the orchestra.”

The Lyric Opera management says in a statement that the strike is "unnecessary and harmful.”

Officials add the opera “cannot agree to the terms (that the musicians union) demands, given Lyric's current financial circumstances."

The Lyric later canceled the Thursday matinee of Puccini's “La Boheme" and the opening night of Mozart's "Indomeneo."