English National Opera is among the first major cultural institutions to commit to paying performers and contracted workers while its building is closed.
The pledge has also been made by the National Theatre of Scotland, which said it would honour all freelance, artist and crew member contracts for the coming months. The National Theatre, meanwhile, said it “working positively with Equity to honour all our freelancers contracted for rehearsals and performances affected by this closure until the end of their contracts at a mutually agreed level”.
ENO said it would honour “all contracts until the end of the main stage opera season up to and including performances on April 18”.
“We hope this provides you with some reassurance,” a message from management to performers and other contracted staff said.
The move was immediately praised,
It came as ENO announced, alongside hundreds of other venues, that it would be stopping performances and would close the London Coliseum with immediate effect and until further notice.
“We continue to follow government advice and that of Public Health England. There is much we can still do in these uncertain times to entertain and lift the spirits of the public. We are going through ideas on the various things we can do to keep ENO front of mind for audiences. We will be in touch about these plans soon,” ENO said.
The London-based opera company is among the first major performing arts organisations to make a commitment to paying workers during the new period of closure, and comes as the industry’s high proportion of freelancers prepare for months of financial uncertainty stemming from cancelled jobs an inability to work from home.
NTS said in a Twitter statement: “The National Theatre of Scotland wants to reassure all freelancers, artists and crew members who were due to be working with the Company on productions over the next few months, that we will honour our agreements and ensure everyone is paid.”