Lunettes Vintage Theater

Overview

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.
Image de Marta Ortigosa
It is however important to consider that independent opera professionals face the same injustices : 

Force Majeure

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.

Reprogramming

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. 

Streaming

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.

Governments worldwide are asking understanding and patience from the event industry in order to avoid public gathering for health reasons, but they seem to forget that performers have invested years and years of hard work into their art and earned their living for a long time on a stage.
 
Some countries have the freedom of arts as a fundamental right in their constitution, like Germany, France or Austria but it has not become a general part of the EU constitution. Too easily have many leaders decided that culture is a negligible part of everyday life and can therefore wait for better times.
Seeking to change this state of affairs and to establish a strong and reliable communication channel, the most important European associations of Freelance Operatic Artists, are launching an umbrella organization, LyriCoalition, The European Association of Independent Opera Professionals.
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