As shown in the „Rebuilding Europe“ study in January 21, the performing arts have suffered a 90 percent decrease of income and working possibilities since the beginning of the Corona pandemic in March 2020.
A vast proportion of performing artists work as freelancers and have to travel around the world to secure their income. With Lockdowns continuing everywhere since autumn 2020 the situation is aggravating. European countries have adopted different policies - Some countries have put up special funding to support artists but very often the social security laws are hindering artists from getting this financial support designed for self-employed workers.
It is however important to consider that independent opera professionals face the same injustices :
This problematic clause in artists’ contracts was created to withhold payment in cases of show cancellations due to unforeseeable catastrophes such as burst water pipes or earthquakes. Sometimes a low partial reimbursement of 10-30% is offered to the artists, but too often they receive no compensation at all. Theatre managers have to keep their money together and are often encouraged by politics to avoid payment without output.
Several productions have been cancelled because of force majeure. Some of them have been postponed or restaged with different artists, and do not include provisions for either relocation or refunds for the professionals who are forced to stay at home.
Old and new shows are being broadcast daily on streaming platforms and in cinemas. Having already been penalised by cancellations, the artists equally receive no remuneration for such events, which are often available to the public free of charge or just for the price of a ticket.