Just in: Opera Australia drops 16 musicians

Just in: Opera Australia drops 16 musicians


norman lebrecht

September 25, 2020

From violinist Rachel Easton:
Last year saw my 20th at opera Australia.
The green room there has a wall of photos honouring artists, it’s an honour to be up up there with folks long past and present.
Covid saw the hanging postponed, but I was in there today so finally got to see my pic!

It was also a dark day for my Orchestra, whom I have had the most immense pleasure working with. 16 of us were just confirmed redundant this afternoon, plus 13 more vacant positions.
Not just us but glorious chorus members, fantastic stage crew, wardrobe staff and more have been lacerated.
I shall miss you all, thanks for the ride.
Opera Australia SHAME on you.



  • So goes the rabbits down the hole says:

    Hopped away with some carrot$ hopefully…

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Opera Australia is just fulfilling the demands (of public servants and many other financially unaffected cohorts) to keep everything shut down. Hospitality and entertainment have been the hardest hit sectors and this is completely unacceptable, on every level.

    I’m sorry for you, but it is not the fault of OA.

    • InsiderKnowledge says:

      Yes it is their fault. Sydney symphony have worked with their staff and budgets to ensure people were not lost. This scream ‘blame the pandemic for what we have been trying to do for years’. Why not offer voluntary redundancy, or work with the union for a better outcome other than ‘so long, good luck, now get lost’. SHAME. Shame on OA. Shame on Lyndon. Shame on Rory.

    • andrew scott says:

      Sorry but that is just willfully ignorant, Opera Australia didn’t need to make these cuts for financial reasons, they are pursuing an agenda to contractualise the orchestra and tech staff.

      The hospitality industry has been hit hard indeed, but I’m sorry nowhere near as hard as the arts, they first to go and will be the last to return.

    • Player says:

      Completely incorrect. They reacted badly from the beginning.

  • Marg says:

    Indeed! Many of us are outraged and have made our feelings known to Opera Australia. There are no words to describe how opera goers feel about this slashing and burning in such a heartless way.

  • Rafael Vankline says:

    As music has always speared itself across world wars and now amidsts the global pandemics .. no other form -lest peace and nutrition- should warrant so much focus. In these perilous times, music and medicine should parallel the hearts and minds of everyone.

  • will says:

    Absolutely appalling.

  • Guy says:

    A vile and hateful day for a country that has allowed its Opera Company and artists generally to suffer death by a thousand cuts. Shame on the cultural vandals, economic rationalists and barbarian politicians who have reduced the company to this for the sake of a handful of silver. The Liberals used to be supporters of the arts. Now all they care about is sport, casinos and real estate.

  • Bathie says:

    Thank you for caring out the tradition and giving us the best

  • Opera Aussie says:

    Sign the petition here to try to save jobs at Opera Australia https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/save-opera-australia

  • Angela Giblin says:

    This is a terrible tragedy.We may lose Opera Australia entirely. This is not only or simply a consequence of Covid-19. Efforts to establish a national opera company started in the early 20th century, so we’re actually in danger of losing the achievements of over a century’s work. The words “the arts” have not passed the lips of our Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) since the onset of the pandemic. Most federal governments since late last century in particular, have been gradually reducing arts funding, and encouraging the myth that companies such as OA receive very generous public funding. Actually, the last time I heard reliable information about OA funding, it amounted to 24% of total budget. When I was employed by OA years ago (then AO), funding was at 42 %. Think on that. Australian musician Peter Tregrear has recently argued in the press that Australia does not need a national opera company.

  • Ed says:

    It is not surprising. Orchestras in general are being scrutinized. I have worked as a musician in such and various for many years. The culture is expectant and sick, allowed to continue that way despite the fact that half of them cannot play their instrument nor even prepare their parts for the first rehearsal. Commonplace, and come on. That is totally unacceptable. In any other industry, one is deemed employable by virtue of your contribution and quality of it there of. The people who ‘got the sack’, were probably ‘swinging the lead’ and had been for some time. The point is, if you are valuable enough, you will not lose your job. I feel for them, but the day of reckoning has arrived.