Louisville Orchestra impasse forces Kentucky Opera to perform without pit band

Posted on: November 18, 2011

In Friday’s (11/18) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), Elizabeth Kramer writes, “The Kentucky Opera officially notified patrons this week that it will not have an orchestra for its Friday and Sunday performances of Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro.’ A letter from the opera’s general director, David Roth, said that the instrumental music will consist of two pianos and a harpsichord, and described the decision not to have an orchestra as ‘circumstances beyond the control of the Kentucky Opera.’ He added that the opera has ‘nearly sold out both performances.’ The decision not to use the orchestra is related to the current impasse between the Louisville Orchestra and its musicians over a new contract. The previous contract ended May 31. … In previous years, the opera had a standing arrangement with the Louisville Orchestra to hire its musicians for opera productions, which hasn’t been possible this season as the orchestra does not have a contract with the local unit of the musicians’ union. Through a one-time agreement with the musicians and the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637, musicians from the orchestra did play for the opera’s September performances of ‘Carmen.’ ” But the cost of that arrangement was too high for the Opera to sustain, Roth said.

Posted November 18, 2011