Embattled Minnesota Orchestra Gets Grammy Nom, Posts Record Deficit

Friday, December 07, 2012 - 05:39 PM

Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are locked out Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are locked out

Sign of the times: the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra were nominated for a Grammy Award on Thursday, just hours before the orchestra posted an operating deficit of $6 million for fiscal 2012 — the largest deficit in the orchestra's 110-year history.

The orchestra's recording of Sibelius's Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5, under music director Osmo Vänskä, was nominated for Best Orchestral Performance. While musicians and management have agreed on very little since the lockout began on Oct. 1, both sides touted the nomination on their respective websites.

"A reminder of all that is at risk in this lockout," read the musicians' site. The orchestra's official site was more subdued, with a link to its in-house CD store. The recording is projected to be the first of a complete cycle of all the Sibelius symphonies, though it comes as the orchestra's very future is in doubt.

The Star-Tribune has further details on the orchestra's deficit. All concerts for the fall and holiday seasons have been canceled as a result of the bitter labor dispute.

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Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, LaKE Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The nation's orchestras are all in the same dilemma. Audience size has greatly diminished and the remaining patrons are not doling out funds as previously. Talent uncompensated financially seeks other venues and teaching. The Minnesota, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta and dozens of other orchestras may soon disband and the New York City Opera because of the Koch brothers taking over the former State Theater of Lincoln Center appears to be forced to go under. Their orchestra also was one of the best. If young singers have no place to prepare for the big time except to sing in smaller European opera houses, where the interest there is to help their own citizen, then BIG TIME STUPIDITY HAS TAKEN OVER OUR "CULTURE." What is the point of reducing our so called spending budgets to the point where nothing of value exists in the USA? My cousin MICHAEL BLANKFORT wrote both the books and screenplays for the 1953 film THE JUGGLER Hollywood film made in Israel starring KIRK DOUGLAS and the 1950 Hollywood film BROKEN ARROW starring JAMES STEWART and JEFF CHANDLER [Cochise]. The music for THE JUGGLER was composed by opera composer GEORGE ANTHEIL, in whose opera VOLPONE I sang the tenor leading role [Mosca] in its professional world premiere in NEW YORK in 1953. ANTHEIL, famous for his opera TRANSATLANTIC and BALLET MECHANIQUE looked exactly like Peter Lorre. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. It, and from the same concert, can be heard my singing Florestan's "Gott, welch Dunkel hier ! from Beethoven's FIDELIO and "Sound an Alarm" from Handel's JUDAS MACXCABAEUS in the live performance on my three websites, www.WagnerOpera.com, , www.ShakespeareOpera.com, and
www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Frieda Hempel, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. My singing of TRISTAN, GOTTERDAMMERUNG SIEGFRIED, SIEGFRIED, SIEGMUND, RIENZI, LOHENGRIN, WALTHER VON STOLZING PARSIFAL, ELEAZAR, FEDERICO, ORFEO and OTELLO can also be heard at RECORDED SELECTIONS on the three websites.

Dec. 25 2012 06:26 PM

Dec. 25 2012 07:11 PM

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