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December 22, 2017
Rio de Janeiro's opulent Municipal Theatre has gone quiet this year as months of unpaid wages emptied...
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The Wider Image: Financial crisis leaves Rio ballerinas struggling
Rio de Janeiro's opulent Municipal Theatre has gone quiet this year as months of unpaid wages emptied its calendar of major works and pushed many ballerinas and opera singers into poverty. The gold and marble theatre located in Rio's historic downtown had celebrated the wealth of the city when it was built at the turn of the 20th century. But now, dancers' dwindling performance schedules and their ragged ballet slippers reveal just how far Rio has fallen. Salaries have been delayed intermittently since 2015 as Rio's finances began to falter from a deep recession and the cost of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. But dancers and singers say the crisis now is unprecedented in the theatre's history. Theatre staff have not received salaries since November, including an obligatory year-end bonus for 2017 that Brazilians count on. The theatre is funded by the Rio state government, which said it is working to correct the situation. "The delay is not the result of a lack of importance the administration places on the theatre, but a lack of available cash resources," Rio state's finance agency told Reuters in a statement. "The salaries will be paid as fast as possible in accordance with resources available." REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "RIO THEATRE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: BRAZIL-RIO/THEATRE
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