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New video: Zubin appeals to Florence, ‘Please, don’t let our theatre die’

The Maggio Musicale is in dire straits.

Its music director, Zubin Mehta, has posted a video appeal to the city to save its most prestigious musical venture. The crisis is internal as much as political. The company needs new leadership and the city needs to support it. Zubin’s is a last-ditch appeal. Watch. And weep.

MMF concerto per Benedetto  XVI

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  1. I support the beautiful musicians and chorus of Firenze!

  2. In London the main orchestras spend a high proportion of their Arts Council (i.e. taxpayers’) money on conductors and soloists, especially conductors on ten, fifteen, twenty thousand pounds per performance. I would love to know how much Zubin Mehta gets paid and whether he would consider taking a pay cut if he has been paid handsomely in the past.

  3. Pierre Audi says:

    Dear Mr Lebrecht, I dont know if i should weep at Zubin Mehta’s video (which underlines a real tragedy) or at the comments of a certain Bill which i find absolutely appalling and totally irrelevant. Mr Bill should do his homework a bit better before posting this kind of comment on a serious website as this one. Furthermore, does anyone realise the size of the Maggio’s deficit? It beggars belief, and is way beyond being caused simply by artists’ fees.

    • What an unintelligent and silly response to a perfectly reasonable observation about how the classical music business works (to my certain non-anecdotal knowledge) often in London, elsewhere in major centres in Europe and the major orchestras in the USA. How the Opera House in Florence is or has been funded and operated I have no idea, nor did I suggest that I did.

      It is reasonable to ask how much public money finds its way in huge amounts into the accounts of conductors, soloists and their agents. If it is ok to dismiss my comments as “absolutely appalling and totally irrelevant” here, then be happy for five minutes Pierre – then wait for others better placed to ask exactly the same question. If the answer is simple and rules the problem out – that would be just fine for me. Otherwise you need to come up with something better than just calling me an idiot.

    • commentator says:

      You can not leave this out of the equation in my opinion as well- the musicians of the orchestra have not been payed in months. An orchestra musicians year´s worth of a salary is easily covered by two performances conducted by Mr. Mehta, who´s among the highest payed artists in the business with 50000€ (!) per concert.
      I don´t see this as being totally irrelevant. There are a few artist on the top that earn ridiculous amounts of cash, whilst the majority of musicians struggle, not only in Florence.
      This might not be relevant for the situation of the Maggio Musicale, but it is surely worth a discussion!

  4. What they have to understand is that artistic responsibility and administrative responsibility go hand in hand; they are the same.

    That said, the Maggio Musicale is an incredible institution and significant cultural resource which must not be allowed to wither.

  5. Keith McCarthy says:

    Pierre Audi is absolutely correct, on both counts.

  6. Steven de Mena says:

    Interesting Mehta interview from a year ago a out Florence and his career overall:

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