Sunday, November 30, 2008

Artist Fees

it takes a lot of money to pay the rent while you hang around
waiting for any kind of work to come your way. Years can go by and do for

American tenor Chris Merritt was Italy's highest paid Rossini tenor for a
while, after he asked 35,000 a performance for Guglielmo Tell at La Scala
Milan. As part of his group, his wife told me that he didn¹t really know
what fee to ask for, but threw out a figure and they accepted. Somehow the
Italian newspapers got a hold of the fact that he was being paid a lot of
money for his singing up and down Italy and became rather miffed. Now this
was in the mid-eighties. I do know singers suffer from a lot of politics
going on behind the walls of the opera houses, and fees are not paid always
in a straightforward way. Incredible as it may sound but true, a major
Italian opera house, I won¹t mention the name said they did not have the
money at the time to pay their singers!


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