The Lyric Opera of Chicago musicians have just reached a new three year agreement. According to the most recent issue of the Intermezzo from the Chicago Federation of Musicians, the agreement will provide significant wage, benefit, and working condition improvements during the length of this contract. This is great news for the Lyric Opera musicians.
Best of all, the new agreement includes provisions that will allow the Lyric Opera of Chicago to be broadcast once again on WFMT, Chicago’s classical music station. The last Lyric broadcast was for the 2001-2002 season. The series was cancelled due to funding snafus. The Chicago Symphony has also been off the air in Chicago for similar reasons.
It is ridiculous that a city with two organizations like the Chicago Symphony and the Lyric Opera of Chicago would have no live broadcasts of any performances, but this has been the state of affairs here in Chicago for several years. What if you couldn’t get the Bears or the White Sox on TV here is Chicago? This is the classical music equivalent.
The only local orchestra to have regular radio broadcasts for the last several years on WFMT is the Elgin Symphony, of which I am a member. All of our Classic series concerts are broadcast, which is a really great thing. You can’t hear the Chicago Symphony or the Lyric Opera (well, you can hear them soon), but you can always tune in for an Elgin Symphony concert. I think it’s great for us, but bad for the cultural state of affairs in Chicago that we are the only ones on the air.