Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Stage Managers Speak Out on Opera’s ‘Hiring Crisis’

Stage Managers Shed Light on Opera's Hiring Crisis

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

OPERA America published an article in July entitled “Opera’s Hiring Crisis” that was met with criticism from workers in opera, particularly staging staff. The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) released an essay on Tuesday, written by a group of stage managers (AGMA President Ray Menard, Brian August, Leslie Sears, Lynn Krynicki and Trevor Regars), rebutting the July article that left out the voices of workers in their craft. They highlighted the difficult working conditions they face and the pandemic’s continuing impact on opera.

“Stage Managers are burning out faster than they can be replaced. The OPERA America article mentions the pipeline issue for production staff but it’s important to distinguish that the responsibility and accountability fall to the companies, not to other workers or freelancers,” they explained. “For those of us trying to stay in the industry to which we devoted our lives, we are begging companies to meet us halfway.”

Click here to read the full essay on AGMA’s website.