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Opera Australia announces employee support package to limit Coronavirus impact

Opera Australia announces employee support package to limit Coronavirus impact
March 25, 2020

Opera Australia has today announced details of an employee support package designed to retain their workforce in the face of widespread layoffs across the arts and entertainment sectors following the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus.

Opera Australia is faced, like many Australian companies, with a complete absence of ticketing revenue following the Federal Government’s closure of all performances in the coming months, in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Recognising that the health and well-being of its staff is essential in securing its future, from Monday 30th March, Opera Australia will be temporarily standing down the majority of its staff from across the Company until the end of May, offering a package that allows staff to access up to 80% of their regular salary (based on a 38 hour week).

The announcement aims to provide some certainty for Opera Australia’s staff amid an increasingly volatile environment.

In addition, Opera Australia is continuing discussions with the relevant Federal and state governments to secure further provisions that will enable the Company to continue to support its workforce beyond the end of May.

Opera Australia also acknowledges the Federal Government’s support for the company’s and broader sector’s casual employees through its recently announced stimulus packages.

Outlining the difficulties facing the company as it continues to work towards ensuring the retention of its extraordinarily skilled and highly talented workforce, Opera Australia Chairman, David Mortimer stated “for many this is the most challenging time of their lives, and certainly for the people of Opera Australia. Their commitment, tireless efforts, passion and unique skills define the Company. We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of all our stakeholders and the arts community.

“On behalf of the Board, we are grateful to everyone that makes up the OA team for their efforts, along with their patience and support through these difficult times.”

Opera Australia’s executive team, comprising the leadership group across the company areas, will continue to work through this period - and will all be taking reductions in their pay either in line with those who have been temporarily stood down or greater.

They will continue to focus on supporting their staff and working to ensure Opera Australia is in a position to reinvigorate its activities when restrictions are eased.

Images: Opera Australia perform My Fair Lady (top) and Chairman, David Mortimer (below).

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23rd March 2020 - LPA seeks targeted financial stimulus for live performance industry

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30th January 2020 - Sydney Opera House concert hall to close for two-year refurbishment program

6th December 2019 - Opera Australia offers Walk on Roles for $5000

23rd April 2019 - Opera Australia’s West Side Story breaks all box office records

23rd March 2018 - Opera Australia introduces more flexible ticketing options for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

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25th October 2016 - Review of Australian Opera warns against use of Government funds for ‘commercial activities’

19th August 2014 - Opera Australia dominates at 2014 Helpmann awards

6th October 2012 - Major performing arts companies are robust and well-managed


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