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Rome Opera sacks 200 permanent members of orchestra and chorus | Music | The Guardian

English: Teatro dell’Opera, RomeRome’s opera house has sacked nearly 200 members of its permanent orchestra and chorus as Italy’s worst economic crisis for decades chokes state spending on the arts.

The opera’s internationally-respected honorary director, Riccardo Muti, quit two weeks ago after a six-year tenure marked by infighting, strikes and financial problems.

The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma musicians, whose contracts will be terminated by the end of the year, could be re-engaged as part of an “outsourced” orchestra, the ministry for cultural affairs said late on Thursday, describing its move as a “painful but necessary step to save the Rome opera and start again”.

Opera houses worldwide increasingly rely on freelance staff because of funding shortfalls, and venues across Italy – where opera was invented in the 16th century – have been forced to make similarly drastic changes.

via Rome Opera sacks 200 permanent members of orchestra and chorus | Music | The Guardian.

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