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MU Opera and Ballet Rates

Updated: 16 June 2021 | 15:50 PM

Promulgated rates of pay for freelance opera and ballet players effective from April 2021.

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
£753.00 £773.00 £797.00 £822.00

Single playing session rates

For players engaged for up to 5 sessions per week) per session: £130.50

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 £13.10 £24.70 £48.90

Distance fees and travel expenses

Distance fees Fuel fees Congestion / Toll Charges /
£10.80 per hour pro rata

Travel time and mileage
46p per mile

HMRC guidance
All charges to be paid
by engager


Group A Group B Group C
Group D
£29.98 £25.89 £20.63 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 - £27.30

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00am - £110.00


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses -£50.00


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.