“The company was recently heavily criticised for proposing a two year embargo on staging Bizet’s Carmen due to its depictions of smoking in an ill-judged attempt to curry favour with their new corporate sponsor, Healthway. Now it has been announced that the company’s Artistic Director Joseph Colaneri and Chorus Master Joseph Nolan will both no longer be working with the company.”
“In Chicago Symphony lore, it was the orchestra’s first-ever overseas tour — a massive six-week, nine-country, 15-venue, 25-concert trip led by music director Georg Solti in 1971 — that vaulted it to world-class status while changing cultural perceptions of Chicago, with the orchestra greeted by a ticker-tape parade upon its return home.”
“[We] gathered data on the 2014-15 seasons that have been programmed by 21 major American orchestras … [and] created a database.” Here are some early stats on how much music by female composers and American composers are being performed and which composers (living and dead) the orchestras are playing most.
The 91-year-old director is furious that the Milan opera house packed off his gold-covered extravaganza, which opened La Scala’s 2006-07 season, to the opera in Astana, Kazakhstan. (Never mind that Zeffirelli is getting a share of the proceeds, or that La Scala can borrow it back for free whenever it wants.)
Despite protests, weak advance sales, interruptions, and all the other mishegas, the John Adams opera “has sold more tickets than any other opera currently at the Met. General manager Peter Gelb “expects the opera ultimately to earn 70 to 75 percent of its potential ticket revenue, about average for recent seasons.”
An Australian musicologist and a forensic document examiner are arguing that Anna Magdalena Bach was not merely one of her husband’s copyists (that fact is well-established), but that – based on the characteristics of the handwriting in the manuscripts – she was composing some of the pieces on the spot.
“He actually said, ‘You’re disturbing me. Can you move to the side?’ But we weren’t doing anything. … My child was not fidgeting. No iPad. No phone out. … My child was about to burst into uncontrollable crying, [so] I had no choice but to leave.” (In the comments, someone claiming to be an eyewitness gives a different account of the event.)
The musicians of the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville wore green ribbons to signal their unhappiness with an ongoing stalemate in the selection of their chief conductor. The city’s politicians voted to renew the contract of Pedro Halffter, who has held the post for ten years (and whom the musicians are said to oppose), but his re-engagement was vetoed by the regional government of Andalusia. (in Spanish)
“Although the two sides appear to be at an impasse on the size of the orchestra, the musicians claim to have made “significant progress” on health care. The players have suggested a health-care plan that will save the WAC about 25 percent — more than $250,000 a year — over the plan that management canceled on Oct. 1.”
Reports this week said that conductor Michael Tilson Thomas stopped a New World Symphony performance in Miami last Friday and asked a mother and her fidgeting child in the front row to leave. But MTT has come forward to say that that’s not quite the way things went down. (Social media posts from other audience members have backed him up.) (includes audio)
“The opera is not anti-Semitic, nor does it glorify terrorism. … The most specious arguments against Klinghoffer elide the terrorists’ bigotry with the attitudes of the creators. By the same logic, one could call Steven Spielberg an anti-Semite because the commandant in Schindler’s List compares Jewish women to a virus.”
“The first night of the opera Rigoletto was due to go ahead at the Rome Opera Theatre Tuesday but performers planned to read a message to the audience protesting the mass sacking of 182 orchestra and choir members … Earlier the troubled opera house’s personnel manager, Stefano Bottaro, … rejected a request to rescind the sackings in return for a discussion over productivity levels and costs.”
“Since the Philadelphia Orchestra exited bankruptcy more than two years ago, several key financial indicators have brightened. Obligations associated with the orchestra’s Chapter 11 settlement have been paid off, income from concerts is growing nicely, and annual fund-raising is improving more than nicely.”