The Norwegian Opera and Ballet, which moved into Norway’s new national Opera House just five years ago, now needs to cut costs to balance a shrunken budget. Higher pension costs are forcing cuts in other areas including staffing.
The cuts have been looming since news broke last fall that the opera and ballet had to cut costs by at least NOK 20 million (USD 3.6 million) even after the state, which owns the Opera, provided more funding. Opera chief Tom Remlov told newspaper Aftenposten at the time that “we probably won’t be able to avoid staff cuts.”
Remlov still won’t confirm any numbers, but newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported on Monday that 20 to 30 employees are likely to lose their jobs next year. Around 600 people now work within the architecturally acclaimed Opera House on Oslo’s eastern waterfront at Bjørvika.
Remlov said management was working with the various labour unions representing employees at the opera and ballet and hoped it wouldn’t affect artistic expression. “This is demanding but we must find ways of doing this that protect artistic production,” Remlov told DN. He said there would be a reduction in the number of performances this year compared to last, but added that there was an especially high number of performances last year.