Dallas Opera Initiates Pay Cuts & Furloughs For Employees

By David Salazar

The Dallas Opera has announced pay cuts and furloughs for administrative and artistic staff as part of the company’s efforts to manage the financial difficulties brought on by COVID-19 crisis.

Additionally, the organization will reduce the salary of other company members; the salary reductions, which range from 10 to 25 percent, commence on May 1; staff that is furloughed from May 1 through June will retain health benefits.  The company noted that Music Director Emmanuel Villaume had voluntarily taken a 25 percent salary reduction; general director and CEO Ian Derrer also opted for a similar pay cut.

Musicians, stagehands, stitchers, dressers, wig and make-up artists, and production staff will all receive a 50 percent wage reduction due to substantial revenue lost from the cancelation of the final 14 mainstage opera performances; per a press release, the company is set to lose over $1.6 million of revenue from ticket sales from the cancelations.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce these painful cuts,” Derrer in a press satement, “but they are necessary to stabilize the financial health of our great company for the future. An opera company that is unable to produce opera has no choice but to constrict, even if only temporarily.”