The LA Opera has canceled its remaining performances, events, and in-person community outreach programs for the rest of the 2019-2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has reached agreements with each of its impacted union partners regarding these, and previous, performance cancelations and is implementing additional cost reduction strategies across the organization, including pay reductions for senior management. The company also set up the LA Opera Relief Fund to help support the artists, artisans, and staff negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and corresponding cancelations.
Opera musicians include members of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA).
Union employees hired for Pelléas and Mélisande, which was canceled on April 10, 2020, were paid in full through the cancelation date, and at 75% thereafter. Those hired for The Marriage of Figaro, which was scheduled to begin rehearsals on May 4, were paid at 75% per the agreement. Union benefits, which are paid by LA Opera and administered by the unions, will be paid in full.
These settlements also cover all canceled work under LA Opera Connects’ programming for the community.
“In a health crisis, ultimately the individuals are the ones that will suffer the most,” said John Acosta, president of Local 47. “During this crisis, LA Opera has truly demonstrated that its values are centered on the health and well-being of its performers.”
The LA Opera has continued to pay its employees due to support from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. It has offered support to its contractors who were not covered under the Paycheck Protection Plan through donations to the LA Opera Relief Fund, and it has implemented additional cost reductions across the organization, including pay cuts exclusively to senior management, ranging from 10-25%, as part of an effort to manage the short-term cashflow and secure its long-term future.