The 80 members of the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera have been asked to accept a roughly 16 percent pay cut.
This is absolutely a must read. Many people have seen the “average pay of a Met chorister is $200,000” and had a case of sticker shock, but looking closer that amount seems very justified:
During busy days, singers often have two rehearsals — one at 10:30 a.m. and one from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. — followed by a 7 p.m. call for an evening performance, which can amount to a 12-hour day. The choristers say their work rules — which the Met would like to change — discourage management from overscheduling them.
Under the rules, the base salary, which ranges from about $62,000 to $125,000 annually, based on seniority, accounts for only about half of the singers’ pay. The rest comes from extra money they receive for working more than four rehearsals a week, working more than seven and a half hours a day and changing costumes during breaks, among other things.
No one ever seems to talk about how difficult, tiring, grueling, and demanding the job of a chorister can be.