Mes amis, we must organize! For too long management of the Paris Opera House has taken the artists and stagehands for granted. We have no OSHA protections. How many crew members must be found strangled or seriously injured before the big wigs will act? We ask for safety equipment; instead, they tell us, “Keep your hand at the level of your eye!”
Chandeliers crash upon our heads due to faulty infrastructure! (And, in part, the love triangle of an orphaned soprano, a masked music teacher, and a pampered young Vicomte). So I say to you: as the glittering chandeliers of the bourgeois fall, the union will be a beacon of a new era of safety, equality, and prosperity for all.
We demand transparency in our leadership. We see the two figureheads who appear to be guiding daily operations, but there is ample evidence that this is a puppet administration. Mysterious edicts about casting, production, and house management come from a murderous guy in a cape.
When our leading lady is kidnapped, what do those fat cats do? They send their seemingly expendable stagehands, chorus members, and ushers into a previously undiscovered underground cavern beneath the theater to recover her! We have been asking for a break room for 6 years to no avail, but sure, there’s plenty of room for a full-blown villain lair. Were we offered adequate lighting to march down there? No! We were handed torches. No! Were we offered standard issue footwear for damp conditions? No! Given hazard pay for fighting an evil mastermind with a tragic backstory? No! — they said the experience would look good on our résumés.
Labor relations are past the point of no return. We may need to strike to wake up our opera overlords to the unsafe conditions and OSHA violations we face daily. Rise up and show these administrators how much they need us. In the words of our sister in the struggle, the great soprano Carlotta Giudicelli, "Until you stop these things from happening — this thing does not happen.”
Workers, awaken! Without you, the production stops. You alone can make these sets take flight. Only through collective negotiation will they make the music of the night.