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Classical 101

La Boheme as ballet

Andrews Sill, Milwaukee Ballet's interim director, was a bit skeptical at first when artistic director Michael Pink said he wanted to do La Boheme as a ballet.  After all...it's one thing to make massive changes to something less well-known, but mess with one of opera's all-time favorites? Then, to top it off, Pink planned to move Boheme into the 1950'=s.  “They’re living through a mild European winter,â€? Pink said. “Jackets and scarves. I cadged the time period from the Baz Luhrmann production for Australian Opera. Paris in the 1950s didn’t look all that different from Paris in the 19th century.â€? The run began last Thursday night and ran through the weekend.  Who knows?  If it works, this may open up a whole new world for dance companies. Read Milwaukee Ballet goes to the opera… or vice-versa  (Third Coast Digest)

St. Paul Chamber Orch musicians told to sign or stay out

The management of St. Paul Chamber Orchestra recently gave their musicians a contract offer, which was promptly rejected.  Along with that offer came an ultimatum...sign it, or we'll lock you out and begin cancelling concerts. Carole Mason-Smith is chair of the musicians' negotiations committee.  In a news release, she said...

 "A lockout is the last thing we want, but, with so much at stake, we cannot make an irresponsible decision."

Minnesota Orchestra musicians are already in the midst of a lockout.  They may soon have company.  Similar standoffs have occurred in Atlanta and Indianapolis.  Musicians in those cities absorbed huge paycuts in order to settle. Read SPCO gives musicians Sunday deadline to avoid lockout (TwinCities.com)

While other orchestras struggle, Nashville Symphony is on the rise

Giancarlo Guerrero was a recent guest-conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra.  When Nashville writer Jack Sullivan was told this by friends who were in the audience, he said they were amazed that someone with such incredible musical talents was at the helm of Music City's orchestra. Such was not the case not that many years ago.  Now, Nashville has a wonderful auditorium, a strong orchestra, and has recently extended Guerrero's contract through the 2020 season.  Milwaukee, are you listening? Read Nashville Symphony Extends Guerrero's Contract Until 2020 (Nashville Scene)