Seattle Opera receives $2.3 million federal loan

Sunday, April 26, 2020

On Thursday, Seattle Opera received a $2.3 million loan under the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP), a federal government stimulus program.
Seattle Opera had previously announced the cancellation of its May La bohème performances, along with the loss of employment for everyone involved with the production. 

On March 25, the company also announced furloughs for 12 administrative staff and pay reductions for the remaining staff who earn more than $50,000 annually.

The PPP funds will allow the company to rehire most of the people who had been scheduled to work on La bohème including orchestra, chorus, stage management, stage crew—plus wardrobe, costumes, hair and makeup crew. 

Administrative staff who had been put on furlough will be rehired for eight weeks, and those who had salary reductions will be restored to full pay for eight weeks (with a mandated cap of $100,000 in annual salary).

“We expect to bring approximately 180 individuals back on the payroll for a finite period of time thanks to the PPP (Payroll Protection Plan),” said General Director Christina Scheppelmann. 
“I am very pleased Seattle Opera received this loan which will go as intended to our employees. These are unprecedented and uncertain times for all. We are looking forward to the return of live events at the Opera Center and McCaw Hall once it is safe to do so. 
"We also look forward to being part of the recovery and healing of our community. But the health and safety of our workforce and customers remains our top priority.”

Even as McCaw Hall’s stage remains dark, Seattle Opera continues to provide music and opera learning to those in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Starting April 25, 2020, 98.1 Classical KING FM will broadcast recordings of previous Seattle Opera performances beginning with Verdi’s Aida. Broadcasts will be available on the radio and at every Saturday morning at 10am Pacific Time.

The company is also presenting a three-part recital with mezzo-soprano Sarah Larson and pianist Jay Rozendaal as well as children’s programs and opera talks online.

Established in 1963, Seattle Opera is committed to serving the people of the Pacific Northwest with performances of the highest caliber and through innovative educational and engagement programs for all. Connect with Seattle Opera on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and on 98.1 Classical KING FM.


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