Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Threatens to Quit

Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 06:00 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The music director of the Minnesota Orchestra is threatening to quit until a musician lockout is resolved soon.

Osmo Vanska says he will resign as music director if the orchestra loses a prestigious concert at Carnegie Hall in November because of the ongoing lockout.

In a letter to the orchestra's board president and CEO, Vanska says he believes the orchestra needs to be playing by early September to be ready for the Carnegie appearance and a recording project scheduled this fall.

The Star Tribune reports this is Vanska's second plea to end the labor dispute. Last November, he said he was "desperately anxious" about the orchestra's future and he urged both sides to resolve their issues.

The musicians have been locked out for more than seven months.

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

Maestro Osmo Vanska is correct as the artistic head of the Orchestra to be protective of its interests and the greater good of the community. Like baseball teams and football teams, when they leave their native community for good, so, too, with opera companies and symphony orchestras there begins to be a decline in the city or town. Let's work together to solve this dilemma. It's easier to save than to start all over again.
As a composer myself currently still uninvolved with purely symphony matters, IMHO it verges on the tragic that so much talent for composing will have with Minnesota no financial or performance outlet. Must our nation bear the stigma of crude greedy commercialism destroying the fabric of culture which unifies and enthuses still greater achievements in all endeavors. We see it in the ravages to our former industrial preeminence and to our overall supremacy in all the arts. Our nation has a large number of professional musicians and talented enthusiastic young musicians yearning while training to become orchestra members of symphonies an opera and ballet companies. We need to encourage their efforts by subsidizing our cultural organizations, including the fine arts museums which more and more are becoming the venues for presentations from chamber music to symphonies to operatic productions. In the status of singing and specifically of singing artists there is a dramatic drop in the numbers and quality of obtainable talent. The troubles that tear asunder the prospect of REAL "echt" talent in opera singers generally and specifically those big voices required for WAGNERIAN PERFORMANCES are primarily based on the total lack of singers with squillo, ping, ringing "juicy', not dry secco , delivery, WAGNERIAN BARKING rather than legato full-throated singing, strained, forced and flat singing, unsupported, undersized and underpowered singing, WITHOUT impressive carrying power and with throaty or nasal ugly voice production. Tandem to this predicament for the talented is the perception that the current situation will continue for a long time to come. Speaking specifically how this precludes the motivation for young operatic singers who must early on choosing their life's work, many have turned to Broadway or the business world. Nowadays Broadway musicals are out for show-stopping sensationalism with laser distractions, monster sets, acrobatic feats and space age technical projections and featuring dancing over singing. So, for the real thing opera singer, Broadway musicals, outside of Phantom of the Opera and an occasional Les Miserables there is little prospect of a sustainable career . I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer [SHAKESPEARE and THE POLITICAL SHAKESPEARE] and director of The Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where all the Wagner and all the Shakespeare roles are taught as well as vocal technque for singing and declamation. www.WagnerOpera.com

Aug. 31 2013 01:59 PM

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