DENVER, Colo., May 26, 2023 – Central City Opera (CCO) is pleased to announce that a contract with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) has been signed by both parties as of today, May 26, 2023. AGMA announced Thursday, May 18 that the agreement had been ratified by its membership and provided a signed document to Central City Opera on Wednesday, May 24. The complete contract is publicly available HERE.

AGMA actively allowed its contract with Central City Opera to expire in August of 2022, and then failed to negotiate until October, thereby leaving its members without an agreement.

Central City Opera spent more than 90 hours during seven months of ongoing negotiations to reach an agreement that serves and supports its outstanding artists. CCO engaged in good-faith negotiations, discretion, and confidentiality throughout the entire process, despite persistent challenges faced by the company that have included widescale disparagement, threats of work stoppage, and fallacies perpetuated through social media attacks.

Central City Opera is proud of the integrity and unity that the Board of Directors, Staff, and its many devoted Patrons maintained over the past months and is grateful for their steadfast dedication and continued support. The four-year contract that CCO has realized incorporates many important provisions which CCO proposed and insisted upon in support of its artists, including:

1. The Open Shop Provision which allows CCO artists the right to choose and determine for themselves whether or not they want to join AGMA;

2. A 3% pay increase in the 2023 Season for all Young Artists and Developing Artists, thus protecting the most vulnerable of all CCO performers;

3. The expansion of the Developing Artist program from three participants to six, thus advancing and promoting the careers of CCO’s talented young professionals;

4. An increase in base pay rates and benefits for all CCO artists. Outpacing percentage increases at significantly larger opera companies, CCO continues to generously compensate its artists;

5. The right for CCO to offer diverse roles and opportunities to ALL of its performing artists.

Central City Opera’s values of excellence, passion, innovation, engagement, integrity and inclusiveness were guiding principles and a beacon of light for the organization throughout this rigorous negotiation process. Of greatest importance, the agreement reached validates one of the key tenets of CCO’s mission: to enrich the lives and communities of those served and to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment of beauty and meaning by cultivating and supporting emerging opera singers and performing arts professionals through world-class training programs. Central City Opera’s complete Mission, Vision, and Values statements are available HERE.

Returning to three Opera House Mainstage productions for the first time since 2012, Central City Opera will bring to life three timeless Shakespearean stories on its historic Opera House stage during the 2023 Summer Festival. Escape to Central City and join us for the classic opera Romeo & Juliet by Charles Gounod, the delightful Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate, and the exquisite masterpiece Othello by Gioachino Rossini. Single tickets are on sale now; subscriptions are still available.

About Central City Opera

Founded in 1932, Central City Opera is the fifth oldest professional opera company in the country and is renowned for its exquisite world-class productions, competitive and robust young artist training program, and creative educational and community engagement activities. Its summer festival, only 35 miles west of Denver, takes place at 8,500 feet above sea level in the Colorado mountain town of Central City, where the company owns and maintains 27 Victorian-era properties, including the intimate 550-seat jewel box opera house built in 1878. Learn more at For tickets and festival information, call (303) 292-6700 or email