In addition to 13 unfilled positions, the layoffs would bring the orchestra`s permanent strength to 40 players, according to a letter to Australian musicians from The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “It`s smaller than the Tasmanian Symphony,” he says. “The result is that our orchestra would cease to exist, except in the name, because we would become a semi-relaxed ensemble.” Arcus said the orchestra`s best way to heal was “to resume performances in playing venues and places where our audience feels safe to return.” Nevertheless, the orchestra expects a $25 million loss in revenue by the end of 2021, after all public appearances ended on March 16. This means a 60% reduction in ticket sales, philanthropy and corporate sponsorship revenue. It also allows the orchestra to be ready to return to the stage as soon as restrictions on public meetings are lifted. The orchestra`s executive director, Emma Dunch, will lead by example and suffer a 40% pay cut, as reported by the president, Terrey Arcus, who reported an “unprecedented” drop in sales. “The OA is committed to advancing a full-time orchestra and choir,” the spokesperson said. The SSO agreement was certified on Monday by the Fair Labour Commission and came into force immediately. It will be maintained until December 31, 2021. “This agreement gives the musicians an important contribution to support the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to return to a full programme of concerts and performances if conditions permit,” he said. Paul Davies, director of MEAA Musicians, said the deal was a model of good practice that other Australian cultural organizations could follow and would protect musicians` livelihoods until 2021.
The SSO recruitment agreement negotiated with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) effectively avoids layoffs and protects the salaries of the orchestra`s lowest paid employees. The orchestra expects financial difficulties to continue with a reduced concert season in 2021. A salary floor was also agreed to protect the wages of the lowest paid employees. Mr Davies said Opera Australia had predicted its intention to scrap the enterprise deal that exceeds the premium rate. Some dismissal decisions would likely be challenged, he said. Members of the opera Australia orchestra were dropped off in March without payment. Credit:Louise Kennerley Mr. Davies stated that management had a broader agenda for relaxing the orchestra, choir, technical services and manufacturing services. Quarries would be destroyed and artistic standards reduced without significantly reduced labour costs. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra reached a similar agreement earlier this year, in which salaries were cut to 70 per cent of the level before COVID-19.
Opera Australia`s spokesperson said the opera was not a one-person performance, but a great collaboration of artists with singers, orchestras, designers, producers and creative directors.