Financial impact of France’s pension strikes at Paris Opera and Ballet

Posted on: December 16, 2019

“The Opera de Paris has lost €2.5 million [$2.79m] in a week due to a rolling strike over its generous pensions system that has led to almost all shows being cancelled,” writes Henry Samuel in Thursday’s (12/12) Telegraph (U.K.). “The Opera de Paris’s pension regime … is costly as ballet dancers are allowed to retire at 42 and technical staff can leave with a full pension in the their 50s. However, their generous regime is one of 42 that are for the chop after President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial shakeup of the French pension system…. Staff at the Opera de Paris … have been on strike along with tens of thousands of other French workers … over the past seven days. As a result, some 15 opera and ballet shows have been cancelled at the institution’s two venues—Opera Bastille and Palais Garnier—since last Thursday, when the first mass demonstration took place. Each performance of Alexandre Borodin’s Prince Igor axed at Bastille cost €358,000 in lost ticket sales…. The Opera de Paris and the Comédie Française, France’s prestigious classical theatre company, are the only two such institutions affected by the pension reform.”