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It's Not About Money

The Florida Grand Opera has stated that they cannot afford to directly employ musicians. However, the numbers seem to indicate otherwise. Employing musicians directly would not add to their payroll costs as the opera already pays the musicians' wages (through Sunset Entertainment). 

Florida Grand Opera also pays a significantly smaller percent of their budget to the orchestra than other opera companies do, as the chart below illustrates. 

Opera Company Budget Size (millions) % of budget paid to orchestra
Lyric Opera of Chicago $61.25 17%
San Francisco Opera $64.77 15%
New York City Opera $39.43 13%
Metropolitan Opera $249.02 9%
Atlanta Opera $4.05 9%
Palm Beach Opera $3.70 8%
Arizona Opera $6.00 7%
Michigan Opera Theater $12.79 7%
Florida Grand Opera $16.48 4%


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