Opera Australia is axing a quarter of its workforce, according to the union for musicians, performers and stage crew.
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said in a statement on Thursday the permanent employees would be made redundant without consultation.
The union’s Paul Davies says it was understood the cuts would be made to every department of the company, including musicians, chorus performers and technical and staging crew.
Opera Australia has been contacted for comment.
“This is a terrible decision by Opera Australia’s management and its board,” Mr Davies said.
“These workers have been loyal employees of OA for many years and have already taken a temporary pay cut to help the company through the crisis caused by COVID-19.
“Now, at the worst possible time, their loyalty has been repaid with a brutal round of forced redundancies, and they find themselves unemployed in the middle of the worst recession since the Second World War.”
The union is calling on Arts Minister Paul Fletcher to step in and save the jobs by providing extra support to Opera Australia.
“Paul Fletcher must act urgently to fast-track financial relief to Opera Australia to save jobs and the company’s reputation in the arts community,” Mr Davies said.