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Opera Expects to Move Off 'Unfair' List

The Louisville Orchestra and its players signed a labor agreement yesterday, ending the impasse that canceled the last orchestra season. Now the Kentucky Opera hopes the agreement between the orchestra and its musicians will mean it can be removed from the American Federation of Musicians’ “international unfair list.”Orchestra musicians recommended the opera be placed on the unfair list in October, after the opera offered to contract with the musicians for their November production of “The Marriage of Figaro” at the national union’s standard opera rates rather than the terms of the musicians’ expired orchestra employment contract.An attorney for the musicians’ association says it will recommend the opera be removed from the list when it sees written confirmation that the opera intends to use the Louisville Orchestra for the upcoming season.Opera general director David Roth says the opera does intend to partner with the orchestra, and he thinks that will be confirmed within the month.“There is nothing that is holding us back from reaching that agreement, now that they have their agreement with their employees,” says Roth. “We want to expedite that as soon possible.”Orchestra CEO Robert Birman agrees.“We already have the weeks of the opera in our calendar for next year and I do think it’s fair to assume that the Opera and the Louisville Orchestra will be partners next year and long into the future,” says Birman.The Kentucky Opera’s season begins in September with Puccini’s “Tosca.”