Opera Australia cuts staff and facilities

Opera Australia is laying off staff and selling assets in order to survive COVID-19. The company will sell two buildings and restructure its staff.

The company plans to sell its warehouse in Alexandria and its Opera Centre in Surry Hills, which houses rehearsal and office spaces. The number of redundancies has yet to be confirmed.

“As we approach six months of impact, the one thing that is clear is that this will continue to disrupt our lives, and our ability to operate as a performing arts company, for the foreseeable future,” said chief executive Rory Jeffes in an email to staff.

“This, combined with the broader uncertainty that this once-in-a-century pandemic brings, means that I must share with you today that workplace change must occur to allow the long-term viability and artistic ambitions of Opera Australia.”

Opera Australia has been shut since March and will not reopen this year. It estimates that it has lost more than AUD75m (€45.5m) in ticket sales revenue so far.

The company recently announced that its plans for a digital Ring Cycle – originally due to take place in November and December – have been postponed until 2021.