Chicago Opera Theater Shows Support for Contracted Artists in Uncertain Time

By David Salazar

The Chicago Opera Theater, despite being forced to cancel several performances due to Coronavirus, will still honor its agreed upon fees, regardless of the Force Majeure clause.

Per The Middle-Class Artist, “despite the financial hardship, Chicago Opera Theatre is ignoring the #Forcemajeure clause and paying its artist the full fee. One singer involved told me, she’s ‘grateful they’re in a position to do so and made the choice to in an uncertain time.’”

Most contracts come with a Force Majeure clause that allows for nullification of the terms given a circumstance like COVID-19 which are beyond anyone’s control.

In the current landscape, artists who are independent contractors are finding themselves suddenly without income that just a few days ago was a given thanks to this clause. With the massive amounts of closures of performances and events, major companies will feel the loss that comes with massive refunds to ticketholders and even potential loss of gifts and donations from major donors who might also feel more fiscally conservative in a tumultuous economy.

As such, these companies are likely to turn to the force majeure clause to minimize the financial commitments they might have to artists who are not a part of their salaried structure.

This all makes Chicago Opera Theater’s decision and commitment to its contracted artists all the more essential. The Middle Class Artist also sited True Concord Voices and Orchestra as an organization following in Chicago Opera Theater’s footsteps.