Noted Greek-American soprano Jamie Chamberlin has used Instagram to let opera fans know that even top-level performers will be hit hard by cancellations caused by the COVID-19 virus that has shut down the live music industry.
She said that people who bought tickets and who could get refunds should instead not take the money so that the singers can be paid or to donate it to music organizations or even to performers themselves so they won’t lose their livelihood.
“Most artists do not have a significant safety net for this type of income loss,” she wrote, because they have a a so-called Force Majeure clause in their contracts that means they won’t get paid if a cancellation is caused by contract provision that relieves the parties from performing their contractual obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance inadvisable, commercially impracticable, illegal, or impossible. She said that could mean a total loss of income “even if we’ve already done work by learning our roles or music or turned down other work to be available.”
She wrote the pandemic could cripple an industry that relies on fans for support.