Will Paris pay stars for strike nights?

Will Paris pay stars for strike nights?


norman lebrecht

December 20, 2019

The Opéra de Paris has shut down the rest of its Il Pirata run due to national strike action.

Will it have to pay the likes of Sondra Radvanovsky and Michael Spyres who turned up and were sent home?

Will it even compensate their flight and accommodation costs?

It would be worth knowing as the pension-related strikes drag on.

ANSWER: We’ve heard from cast members that they are being paid. The Paris Opera contracts have a clause that guarantee artists full fee in the event of cancelled performances due to strike.



  • Sanity says:

    Yes. As it is not an act of God, the have to be paid.

    • M Le Balai says:

      Not necessarily. National strikes can be sited in contracts under ‘force majeure’. So, it will depend entirely on what is in their contracts.

    • Nik says:

      The trade unions in France would consider themselves one step up from God.

    • Michael says:

      Usually, a strike is seen as “force majeur” and in the contracts specifically mentioned as such. So there might be no payment unfortunately.

    • pageturner says:

      Quite right, it’s just the consequence of an Act of Macron, even though he thinks he is the Sun King or Napoleon reincarnated, meaning that he views himself as being above God.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Ignorant nonsense. After the ‘grand débat’ Macron’s reforms were adapted to circumstances ‘on the ground’ and greatly benefitted from the feedback and input. And for foreigners not informed about France: every president traditionally takes-on the theatre of the monarchy because french presidency IS a form of monarchy, the difference with the earlier form is that the french now choose their king. They like it that way, because it offers the opportunity to both re-enact monarchy and the french revolution.

      • CJ says:

        This is quite unfair: Macron is just obliged to repair the demagogic decisions of President Mitterrand, who reduced the pension age to 60 when it was already obvious that it was financially impossible, given the evolution of the demography.

      • Thomas Silverbörg says:

        He learned this as a child from the Jesuits.

    • Nancy says:

      Here is an excellent article, that appeared last week in the Los Angeles Times, that very accurately summarises the situation in France and explains, quite accurately in my opinion, why France is one of the saddest and most unhappy countries in the world.

  • Fortunatly there’s some places opened in Paris. This week there was two concerts memorables of Fischer with Amsterdam and Gergiev with the local orchestra at the Paris Philarmonie

  • Paul Dawson says:

    I imagine their contracts will be clear on this point. If not, the ambulance chasers will doubtless be out.

  • Charles says:

    Yes they should, but surely the main story is about the workers, who are normally paid nowhere near the salaries of these stars and are fighting to protect their pension rights, right on top of Christmas.

    Nobody deserves to be out of pocket, but neither of these artists will be struggling in the way those who normally work tirelessly in the background to create the opera productions for which the singers are handsomely paid for and lauded by the audience.

  • RagnarDanneskjoeld says:

    The rest of the “Il pirata” run doesn’t have to be shut down because only two performances were scheduled in the first place. Unfortunately, neither one took place. Merde. (Unfortunately I saw the concert version some years ago in Barcelona with Mariella Devia and Gregory Kunde. What a blast!)

  • Calvin says:

    People would pay me not to sing, but I an not sure professionals should aspire to that distinction.

  • Thomas Silverbörg says:

    A strike is NOT a ‘force majeur’, unless stipulated contractually.

  • Jose says:

    Their contracts stipulate that they must be paid, but I wouldn’t put it past the French administration to find a way to either delay, reduce or completely ignore their payments. France is a country in the process of collapsing, it is archaic and angry, with a bloated out of touch bureaucratic administration lead predominantly by pretentious arrogant old men, who are, for the most part, extremely unpleasant to deal with. Don’t expect it to change anytime soon.