AGMA "Schedule C" Role Classification
AGMA has now posted its classifications of roles by opera on its website. If you are singing in an AGMA house, your salary will to some degree be based on the minimums negotiated with that house by AGMA for the type of role you are contracted to sing. If you are not singing in an AGMA house, the below information may still be useful to you as a way to gauge the importance of your role and what kind of salary you might expect, although AGMA does not list salary minimums on their website.
Roles are classified according to criteria set by an AGMA committee, based on actual measures sung, stage time as required by the libretto, importance of the role to the plot, and other intangibles such as interpretive, vocal, and artistic demands of the role.
The roles are coded and defined as follows:
L - Leading: a major, principal role.
F - Feature: a distinct, outstanding role given special prominence.
S - Supporting: a secondary, intermediate, auxilary role which strengthens and sustains the plot.
B - Solo Bit: a small, minor role of limited size and scope, usually no less than 24 meaures in length, usually performed by a soloist as opposed to a chorister.
CB - Chorus Bit: a small role of short duration (usually less than 23 measures) performed by a chorister.
MB - Mute Bit: a small, non-singing, silent role of short duration, usually performed by a chorister or supernumerary.
This work represents many hours of dedicated labor by AGMA singers. Although intended for union members, all singers can benefit from this information and we owe AGMA and our colleagues on its committees a debt of thanks. For more detailed descriptions of roles and their classifications, see the AGMA website at: