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MU Opera and Ballet Rates

Updated: 04 April 2022 | 15:28 PM

Promulgated rates of pay for freelance opera and ballet players effective from 1 April 2022.

Weekly rates (for a week of up to eight 3 hour sessions, rehearsal or performance, on the six week days)

Tutti Sub-Principal Principal Section Principals
£812.00 £833.00 £859.00 £886.00

Single playing session rates

For players engaged for up to 5 sessions per week) per session: £141.50

Ancillary payments applicable to both weekly and casual rates

Doubling 15% of the appropriate rate per additional instrument

Sundays or Statutory Holidays Double time

Extra sessions Pro rata

Stage bands - additional payments (per call)

Stage band only (unseen) In pit and on stage (unseen) On stage in costume (seen) In pit and on stage (seen)
None £14.10 £26.60 £52.70

Distance fees and travel expenses

  • Distance fees: £11.25 per hour pro rata. Travel time and mileage
  • Fuel fees: 55p per mile. HMRC guidance
  • Congestion / Toll Charges / Parking: all charges to be paid by engager


Group A Group B Group C Group D
£31.45 £27.16 £21.64 Individual negotiation

Electric guitar (incl. amp);

Bass guitar (incl. amp);

Double bass

Bass sax, Tuba

Contra bassoon; Baritone saxophone;

French horn + 1 other brass instrument;

Trombone + 1 other brass instrument or bag of mutes;

Two saxophones; Cello;

Bass clarinet; Pedalboards

Kit Drums;

Percussion instruments;

Electronic Keyboards;



15% of fee for each additional instrument


Minimum of 15 mins per 2 hours playing

Late fees

Payable when time of return is midnight – 2:00am - £29.40

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00am - £118.50


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses -£54.00


Guidance notes

The rates are always the minimum and take into account that holiday pay, sickness pay and maternity and paternity pay need to be factored into self-employed rates. Individual negotiations can be made based on these minimum rates.