Statement from OA CEO, Rory Jeffes

Opera Australia has been working in collaboration with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) over recent days following the cancellation of performances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic public gathering bans.

Statement from OA CEO, Rory Jeffes

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OA CEO Rory Jeffes said that working together, the company and the MEAA have identified short term plans to ensure employees would continue to be paid, despite major programs no longer proceeding over the coming months.

“This includes musicians of the orchestra who have, in the short term, been advised that they can bring forward two weeks of their leave as there are no performances scheduled at which they can play in that period.

“Contrary to any speculation, Opera Australia is planning for the ongoing employment for musicians, performers, technicians, stagehands, wig and wardrobe staff and other employees. 

“I wanted to be clear on this to avoid unnecessarily adding to the levels of anxiety everyone is feeling at present. Everything we are doing is to ensure that OA can continue to support its employees with jobs and pay over the coming weeks and months.

“We must remember that this is a global health crisis driving economy-wide impacts over which we have no control. We are working as fast as possible to adapt to this new environment to secure a future for Opera Australia and all of its people.

“To do that, the company must first remain solvent and that has been priority number one over the past few days.

“It’s a deeply unsettling time for everyone and it’s understandable there is a great sense of uncertainty and confusion that goes along with an event that we have not seen in our lifetimes.

“Opera Australia and the whole live performance industry is extremely challenged at this time. We are committed to try to find a way through. All of us simply must work together co-operatively as we are in uncharted territory.”

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