This year, we are making a very urgent plea not just to support Tête à Tête, but also the artists who make up our creative family. We’d like to split 75% of any donations (plus Gift Aid income where applicable) evenly between each festival company to share between their artists, while allocating the remaining 25% to giving them all a secure and safe environment to perform in.
We are lucky, though. We still have the core support of Arts Council England to keep us going. We’ll have to tighten our belts severely, and this will impact greatly on the support we can give our artists and working conditions we can offer. But we are still here.
The artists who populate our festival who are, like us, freelancers with portfolio careers, have by and large seen their futures just evaporate. It’s not just that our artists won’t be able to raise money themselves to make their shows as they normally do: We’ve all of us seen almost all our freelance contracts for the rest of our futures disappear over a period of weeks. Many if not most of our artists also fall short of the government’s Self Employed Income Support Scheme, because they haven’t earned enough, because they’ve just graduated so can‘t demonstrate three years’ income, because they splice their opera work with PAYE. They never had jobs that they could now be furloughed from. People don’t know how to survive, or what future we’ll all have in opera, if any.
While the government has just announced an arts support package, the freelancers who make up our festival workforce, many emerging from their training and at the start of their careers, have received hardly any support. With the closing down of so many sources of income, trusts, foundations and so forth, there are also very few places for them to turn.
We know everyone is in trouble right now. It’s hard to think of anyone more professionally beleaguered than our festival artists. Please please help! And if you can’t help with cash, time could also be valuable. We’re starting a skills bank, where volunteers can help our artists bring their dreams to life.
To watch our fundraising video, follow this link:https://vimeo.com/434342746
To get in touch about how to volunteer email email@example.com.
To find out more about Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, follow this link: tete-a-tete.org.uk/2020-festival-introduction/