Musicians win settlement with New York City Opera

Volume 121, No. 1January, 2021

The musicians of the New York City Opera are pleased to announce a recent settlement with NYCO management, thanks to successful efforts by the NYCO orchestra committee and legal claims brought by Local 802 attorney Harvey S. Mars.

The settlement concerns grievances that were brought about when NYCO management failed to abide by the contract and did not hire rostered musicians. One grievance was triggered for a recording made and used during the 2019 premiere of the opera “Stonewall.” Later, NYCO management committed a separate contract violation in August 2020 when it advertised a concert in Delaware that described itself as “partnering” with another orchestra and used musicians not on the NYCO roster. For that violation, NYCO musicians drove over 200 miles to leaflet and protest.

“Without our union contract, we could not have achieved this settlement. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when we act together as a union,” said NYCO Committee Chair Mark Shuman.

The settlement resulted in eight musicians receiving pay and benefits for the “Stonewall” recording. “Stonewall” premiered in June 2019 at the Rose Theater in NYC. The opera was produced to honor both the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and the 75th anniversary of New York City Opera.

For more information about this settlement, e-mail Harvey S. Mars at To reach Local 802 for general questions, including contract enforcement and fighting for fair pay and benefits, e-mail