Equity takes action with La Boheme- Soho Theatre’s highest grossing show


The Stage newspaper online reports:

“Producers of the Olivier Award-winning La Boheme have come under fire for not paying the show’s chorus just hours after the show picked up the best new opera production prize at Sunday’s ceremony.

La Boheme sold out its first six-week run at Soho last year and returned to Soho in January. Soho artistic director Steve Marmion told the BBC that La Boheme has become the theatre’s highest grossing show.

In a statement, OperaUpClose said that the chorus had been advertised as volunteer positions to offer “industry experience” to performers.


Read the entire article on The Stage website

La Boheme is co-produced by Adam Spreadbury-Maher(pictured) who is also artistic director of The Kings Head.


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5 Responses to Equity takes action with La Boheme- Soho Theatre’s highest grossing show

  1. Nameless says:

    Well they made at least £200,000 during two six week runs at Soho Theatre and they could have paid everyone at least equity minimum, but somebody has to fill his pockets at the expense of others.

  2. Griff says:

    Rumour has it that even on OperaUpClose productions other than La Bohème, for which singers were promised payment of a “profit share”, derisory payments have been offered amounting to low-single-digit sums (around £2) per performance. The management tries to justify this by citing what performers claim are inaccurately low audience figures.

    No one who signed up for roles in these productions expected to be paid much. But they didn’t expect to be offered insultingly low amounts either.

  3. Nameless says:

    and also rumour is that they don’t pay rent at the Cock Tavern, but they tell singers that they do.

    • Interesting comment- but how is this connected to La Boheme?

      • Griff says:

        Presumably it’s connected because OperaUpClose has given all sorts of reasons of financial pressures (some of which seem to be questionable) for refusing to pay singers, or to justify paying derisory amounts as “profit share”. Plainly OperaUpClose Ltd’s accounting procedures and financial management warrant scrutiny.

        The issue goes beyond the La Bohème production — singers in other productions who signed contracts referring to profit share are fully justified in feeling exploited in view of what they have been offered when for performance after performance they play to full capacity or near full capacity audiences.

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