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Met musicians play at schools. Why can’t Met Opera do that?

June 30, 2014 by norman lebrecht

5 comments.


In the latest post on the Met Orchestra Musicians’ page, horn player Barbara Jöstlein Currie describes how, towards the end of an exhausting season, she and some colleagues put together a chamber ensemble to play Peter and the Wolf in her child’s inner-city public school.  

It seems such a natural, such an obvious, thing to do that you wonder why the mighty Metropolitan Opera does not try the same approach in its desperate search for new audiences.

If Peter Gelb would only talk to his musicians instead of threatening them, he might pick up a few good ideas.

met hornists

 

Roy Femenella, Barbara JÖstlein Currie, Javier Gandara (Photo: Rob Knopper)


Comments (5)

  1. Mark says:

    And were they all payed contract wages? And was there admin costs? Who covered those?
    This is comparing the wrong scenarios – there is much more to any opera company presenting a performance than just picking the location and pulling some plans together.

    1. Petros Linardos says:

      Agree.

      “All Proceeds Benefit PS 41” says the flyer. Sounds like the musicians volunteered their services. Can Peter Gelb ask his musicians to play for free?

  2. Nick says:

    With respect I suggest you read reports before commenting on them! It was a charity event, Mark, organised by individual musicians most of whom, if not all, were not paid by anyone. From what I read, it had nothing to do with the Met other than most of those taking part happened to be orchestra members. For your information, tickets cost $10 and $15, the concert was a sell-out and raised over $4,800 enabling the music program to buy instruments for use by the children.

    As to the Met officially organising similar outreach events, of course there would be expenses involved and staff time. But with goodwill on all sides, it’s not all that complicated and is something other opera companies and orchestras do. It’s also great PR – and that is something the Met needs in abundance!

    1. Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

      Excellent, Nick. Thank you.

  3. Barbara currie says:

    I believe Norman’s great insight is that the Met could do more (actually any) community outreach, especially during the weeks of so-called “vacation”, in which the musicians could be used for projects such as these.


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