Singers reach for lawyers as Maggio Musicale faces meltdownNews
Florence’s renowned opera theatre has warned that it may have to close from next month unless it can pay off an €8.5m deficit left by the departed director Alexander Pereira who left in February.
The Maggio, presently run by the Rome civil servant Onofrio Cutaia, is looking to disperse its art archives in a fire sale. The archives include works by De Chirico and others.
Meanwhile, 1e principal singers who were summarily fired from a cancelled Meistersinger set up a gofundme today to sue the Maggio for their fees. They claim some of them should have been recast in a replacement production of Falstaff, but the theatre is indifferent to their financial plight. They say:
The theatre had a choice. It could have rehired as many of our cast as possible for Falstaff. It could have performed Meistersinger as a concert without the expensive production. It could even have tried to renegotiate our contracts. Instead it chose to leave 13 of the contracted singers unpaid, unemployed, uncompensated.
We are going to fight this. Not only is it unfair to us, our agents, and those who depend on us, our but it sets an alarming precedent – that contracts in opera are just words. We can’t allow that to take hold. Our system relies on trust – when that goes, the system collapses.
The Maggio itself might collapse before the case comes to court.