Ensemble singers at Australian opera have been told they will have to go up to three months without pay.
A fortnight after the company announced a record $100 million turnover, artistic director Lyndon Terracini has told singers on 12-month contracts that they will be ‘rested’ without pay for six to 12 weeks next year. About 20 singers are affected, ad they are justly furious.
They have bombarded a dedicated Facebook page with fury and frustration. Sample comments:
- It is an appalling situation that an “opera” company, that receives $20 million dollars worth of tax-payer government funding per annum, lay off its own ensemble “opera” singers in favour of casting a musical, and instead choosing to use music theatre singers to present a musical whilst operatically trained singers are “rested” without pay.
- This makes me feel sick. Considering the singers mentioned are some of the finest, hardest working and best reviewed singers in the company and the country. The feelings this brings up are all to familiar. Of feeling completely let down by a company you felt like you had invested so much time, energy and love into.
- Can someone please tell me what ( if anything ) the MEAA union are doing about this? These singers (like all of us), pay our fees to have someone represent us, and defend our basic right of employ in situations such as this. The silence is deafening….