Orchestra Digest: August 22

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This week: Met Opera reaches a deal, TSO tours Europe, great strides in Pittsburgh and Louisville, and a bass trombonist's remarkable comeback...

Behind the scenes at the opera
Monday's tentative Metropolitan Opera agreement included compromises on both sides, the New York Times reports. Musicians agreed to wage cuts, but management agreed to share those cuts, and to bring on an independent financial analyst to help keep the Met's budget under control.

The Canadian Opera Company has a new senior staff position, Chief Communications Officer, according to a press release posted on Broadway World. Steven Kelley, formerly director of marketing at the Houston Grand Opera, has been hired for the new position.

Canadian news
This weekend the Toronto Symphony is on tour in Europe for the first time since 2000; the Toronto Star offers a numerical account of the tour, which included stops in Amsterdam and Helsinki.

Tri-City News reports on the remarkable recovery of Vancouver Symphony bass trombonist Douglas Sparkes, who suffered a severe stroke in September 2011; he has been back with the VSO since Dec. 2012.

The Saskatoon Symphony is launching its 2014-15 season under the theme "Finding our Prairie Voice", the Star Phoenix reports. The SSO's guest artists are exclusively Canadian, and 14 are Saskatchewan natives.

US orchestras
Oregon Symphony musicians agreed to extend their contract with a pay freeze for one year, The Oregonian reports. The OS administration has a new leader, Scott Showalter, and musicians' union announced they wanted to give him time before negotiating a new contract.
A recent audit of the Pittsburgh Symphony's finances showed an impressive recovery, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports - including a rise in net assets and endowment, and a reduced operating deficit.

And four years after it filed for bankruptcy, the Louisville Orchestra is in the black, the Courier-Journal reports. The orchestra finished with a $20K surplus for 2013-14; new music director Teddy Abrams launches the 2014-15 season on Sept. 6th.


Compiled by Matt Heller, Calgary Philharmonic and OCSM Past President. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php.

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