Friday, October 07, 2005

This is what you get when you have a cultural district that takes its eyes off of 'culture' and goes into land development

The Pittsburgh Cultural District and might as well mention the PDP (Pgh Downtown Partnership) should be ashamed. We are killing the Pgh Ballet with this move. Protest and outrage is necessary here.

We have the folks in the cultural district -- as well as the folks in the neighborhoods -- more worried about land development deals. They have taken their eyes off the ball. They fumble their duties. They make everything we have diminish in value with their miss-placed priorities.

By Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Outside the Benedum Center last night, a Dixieland band played "Sweet Georgia Brown," but the 150 people picketing the lack of live music at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of "Carmen" did not sugar-coat their messages.

One picket's sign read, "Live Ballet Plus Canned Music Equals Dirty Dancing." Another protester's sign said, "Wanted: A Ballet Management That Cares."

Among the pickets were 25 music students from Carnegie Mellon University; musicians from New York City, Toronto, and Akron; local stagehands; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians in full dress with white ties; and T-shirt-clad members of the Service Employees International Union and Teamsters.

In an attempt to save $500,000 a year, the financially troubled PBT has decided to use recorded music during its performances instead of hiring musicians.

Laura Brownell, director of symphonic services for the American Federation of Musicians in New York City, said ballet-goers were being cheated because "they are being asked to pay the same amount for half of the experience."

Mark Tetreault, principal tuba player with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, agreed.


Al L'Agheny said...

From where should the money come? The taxpayers?

They are soaked enough, thank you!

The Ballet may be affected, but it can't be helped that the ballet does not have a fan base large enough to support a live orchestra. They are no more entitled to live music than I were i to operate a night club. If my revenue can't support it, I don't offer it.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Of course not. You'd not fund the musicians of the ballet with tax payments. Give us a break.

The management of the ballet is killing the ballet. There are plenty of funds with customers if they only did a decent job.

The revenue here can (could, did, would again) support the live music. What is going to kill the ballet (and this is proven in all but one instance) is the recorded music.

Al L'Agheny said...

A General question, though... is not the Ballet funded by RAD? Or not?