Arizona Opera, stage staff union reach agreement

2010-09-30T00:00:00Z Arizona Opera, stage staff union reach agreementCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 30, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Arizona Opera and its Tucson stage employees union hammered out a new contract that takes them to 2013.

That leaves just one union - the Arizona Opera Orchestra Musicians Association - still at odds with orchestra management over pay and perks. There was no word Wednesday on where those talks were heading, but earlier this month the orchestra filed an unfair-labor-practices complaint against the opera with the National Labor Relations Board.

Details of the pact with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 415 were not released in a news release Wednesday announcing the agreement. But the release said the main sticking point in talks was the same issue that has held up negotiations with all of the opera's union - its recent move out of Tucson.

The opera, which mounts productions in Tucson and Phoenix, recently took up temporary residence in rent-free space in Mesa. It plans to eventually consolidate operations in one taxpayer-financed building in Phoenix, which will free the opera to sell its buildings in both cities and pay down its $2.5 million cumulative debt load.

Opera officials could not be reached Wednesday to comment.

The opera began rehearsals last week in the Mesa facilities. It opens the 2010-11 season in Tucson on Oct. 16 with Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance."

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

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