Ominous news from Opera Australia, the company which saved money last year by axing 7 (some say 8) positions from the permanent establishment of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra – something I referred to at an anecdotal level here.
Things are now being taken to the next level. Apparently about 20 singers are to be “rested” – ie, laid off, for 6 to 12 weeks next year. These are singers who up till now have been employed on 12-month contracts. Obviously, in the past, that must have included the odd gap between conspicuous onstage commitments (some of which would necessarily be taken up with preparation and also by covering others’ roles).
According to Lyndon Terracini, fresh from his astounding ten-year reappointment and much skiting at the annual general meeting, if these singers are not singing they cannot be paid and it’s not good for them to be singing in parts for which they are not suited. Get it, it’s for their own good!
An OA spokesperson says it is nothing at all to do with the projected production next year of the musical “Kismet.”
OK, yes, I know it’s “The King and I,” but so what?