So, after writing my blog entry last night, I sent an email to the opera company requesting what roles and compensation I would be offered in the Resident Artist Program. I got an e-mail today with my offer and a long contract. The roles they have offered are two chorus roles, and one understudy. The other roles for 2008 have yet to be assigned.
The contract goes into great length about how I need to be available at such and such times (15-35 hours a week), or how I can be fired if I change my appearance. Then there are the outreach concerts, but of course not everyone will get to participate, and then there are the Master Classes and Workshops which I am "encouraged" to attend, but if I am going to be absent, I must receive permission.
As usual, the compensation paragraph was vague. I will copy and paste it for you:
(Insert company name here) will not charge a fee nor pay a fee for the program as a whole. However, depending upon the assignments given, a contract may be issued and a fee may be paid (separately contracted role, “going on” as a cover, chorus on tour etc.). In any case the Resident Artist is an independent contractor not an employee of (Insert company name here).
WTF does that mean? I'm not going to get paid to sing in the chorus? I quit my job singing in the CHORUS of the SAN FRANCISCO OPERA to move to NYC to be a soloist. Had I stayed in the SF Opera chorus this year, I would have earned a minimum of $52,000. So, why should I sing in a chorus in NYC for FREE?!?!? Aside from the fact that I would have to take time off of work (i.e. lose money, too) in order to do it.
So, what's the point of the contract if there is no benefit for me?