Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) organized a unique collaboration, inviting musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to join the DSO on stage for concerts April 30 and May 1.
The Met musicians, represented by Local 802 (New York City), have not performed together in over a year, since the COVID-19 shutdowns, and have gone nearly that entire time without pay. Only in March of this year did they begin to receive paychecks, returning to the bargaining table in exchange for temporary pay of up to $1,543 per week.
DSO Music Director Fabio Luisi was principal conductor at the Met from 2010 to 2017, and invited his former colleagues to Dallas to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in two benefit concerts. Funds raised will support both the Met Orchestra Musicians’ Fund and the Dallas-Ft. Worth Musicians COVID-19 Relief Fund. DSO musicians are represented by Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX).
Between 40 and 50 of the Met’s musicians were expected to travel for the performances. “We cannot overstate the impact this unprecedented collaboration will have on our members, both financially and artistically, after this long year of cultural famine,” says Brad Gemeinhardt of Local 802 (New York City), a horn player for the Met and chair of the orchestra committee.