A New Era of Promise for the Minnesota Orchestra

At 12:01 AM this morning, a new era will begin for the Minnesota Orchestra—in more ways than one. At the stroke of midnight, the last lockout-affected fiscal year for the Orchestra will finally end, and we will officially be able to close the books on the longest classical music labor dispute in American history. Continue reading

Renée Fleming, Osmo Vänskä, and the Minnesota Orchestra

Renée Fleming is coming to Orchestra Hall! She’s an absolute superstar—I mean, did you see her performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at last year’s Super Bowl?— and the chance to see a singer of her talent live and in-person makes this an absolute must-see event. Continue reading

Reflections on Anthony Tommasini’s Piece in the Times

New York Times arts writer Anthony Tommasini has written an important piece on the Met dispute, particularly examining the issue of new artistic productions. Interestingly, this subject was also covered by James Jorden yesterday, too (my response to Jorden’s article is here).

By and large, Tommasini brings up good points, and in broad terms I agree with him (and Jorden) that an arts organization must engage in new productions and perform new works. The artistic mission and artistic strategic plan are every bit as important as their financial counterparts.  And in fact, I argued this again and again during the Minnesota Orchestra lockout.

That said, there are a couple of areas where I believe we part company. Continue reading

A Response to James Jorden

The Metropolitan Opera’s ongoing labor dispute has hit a bit a lull—there is a freeze in negotiations while an independent financial analysis takes place.

As both sides prepare for the next round of negotiations, a new article has appeared—a piece by James Jorden in the New York Observer. Jorden’s stated goal with this piece is to show that the maligned Peter Gelb is not as bad as we think. Gelb has, Jorden argues, enjoyed many successes over his tenure. Fair enough. I’ve been strongly critical of him here in my blog, but I’m open to hearing a different perspective… particularly from someone who knows him far better than I do.

That said, in reading through the piece, I’m not sure fully agree with Jorden. Let me explain. Continue reading