OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 14, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 5

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-12-14/ed-1/seq-5/

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Say you highbrow, silk-stockinged,
. million-dollar plutes ! Did you know
. that the men who sing in the chorus
of your grand opera are getting only
$22 for a six-day week? Did you
know that they get $2 if they work
all day Sunday at rehearsal or per
P formance?
This means you, C. H. McCormick,
t, , with your haryester trust millions;
and you, Harold P. McCormick, who
have John" D. Rockefeller for a father-in-law;
and J. J. Mitchell of the
Illinois Trust, Max Pam of Siegel
Cooper's, Julius Rosenwald of Sears
Roebuck's, Martin Ryerson, steel
magnate; John Shedd, boss of the
Marshall Field store, and Chas. A.
Stevens, ladies' goods millionaire,
and Eddie Swift, packingtown aris
tocrat. This crowd, possessors of billions
of dollars in money and property, are
known in society as the "guarantors"
of Chicago's attempt at grand opera.
"When packinghouse millionaires and
bank heads decided that Chicago was
too much a burly, western city with
out the refinement of the east, they
decided to import opera.
Opera costs money. It's the high
brow indoor sport. So the plutes
hired Cleofonte Campannini at a re
v ported salary of $40,000 a year to
provide opera for Chicago. Last year
it cost the millionaire guarantors
- just $98,000 to pull opera: in rough
neck Chicago.
And this $98,000 was over the
money taken' in at the box office.
Seats are $5 for a regular performs
ance, $7 for special attractions. Only
the wealthy have boxes; they cost
A , $60 a night' And you have to hire
9 them by the season.
But of the hundreds of thousands
that grand opera will cost the mil
lionaire gang this season," very little
will go to the fellows who play minor
parts. They were getting $22 a week
and $2 for the Sabbath performance
that is, until they struck for more.
Then Slg. Campaninl told them to
get out.
Most of the men are from New
York. They have families, to support
there" and came to Chicago because
the season was slack. Their contracts
with Sig. Campannini and his mil
lionaire backers called for transpor
tation both bays. .Now Campannini
is supposed to figure that as they
have sent most of their money back
to the families they will be stranded
here unless they come back to work
for $3 less than they want per week.
All that the men ask is that for
Sunday work they be paid $5. The
regular salary of $22 a week they ac
cepted and contracted to work! for.
But they feel when big business will
pay $2,000 to $3,000 a night for a
star singer, the chorus, with fam
ilies to support, should get at least
$5, especially on Sunday.
Yesterday's Examiner pulled a
story on the strikers. It said that
Sig. Campanini expected the men
back when they got tired of doing
without wine at their meals and were
willing to work on the old scale. -
"Why we have a fat chance of get
ting wine with our meals at a salary
of $22 a week," declared Irving La
vitt, secretary of the International
Chorus alliance, of which the strik
ers are members. "If they think we
can buy wine and support our fam
ilies back in the east on $24 which
we get "for seven days' work every
week, let the mtry it. I think if the
lovers of art knew the truth about
things we would get the $5 we ask
for Sunday performances."
Washington, Dec. 14. Pres. Wil
son expected to have two supreme
court bench vacancies to fill within
few months. Justice McKenn, ex
pected to retire on account of age
and Justice Day on account of ill
health. Sec'y of Interior Lane and
Sen. Walsh of Montana are expected
to be appointed to their places.

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