Classical music in South America (Venezuela honourably excepted) seems to be a long-running series of shootouts.
In Brazil they force musicians to re-audition for their jobs and fire those who don’t.
In Ecuador, they are trying the same gambit.
But nothing beats the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, which is suing seven musicians for the losses of an unending strike – in reality a lockout by the government-backed house administration. Placido Domingo has refused to sing there again until the matter is resolved.
Here’s the latest dispatch I’ve received.
Last week Teatro Colón’s director García Caffi added 8 million pesos to the 55-million pesos lawsuit against 8 artists, demanding $63 M ($15 million US dollars) from 4 musicians, 3 choir members and the photographer, in compensation for the performances cancelled by the Director during our strike for better salaries and working conditions.
We had a hearing at the Court yesterday. García Caffi did not attend this hearing. The Buenos Aires city government (counseled by a private firm, because the official BA government lawyers declined this case months ago) dropped the lawsuit. Even though this can be considered the beginning of a good faith agreement between the City and its employees, no progress at all has been made in our demands. Teatro Colón’s director has made substantial discounts to the musicians’ salaries in the past three months (in compensation for the strike) and the administrative sanctions haven’t been dropped. Even though we signed an agreement not to stop performances at the last minute, we will keep demanding better salaries and working conditions, and all sanctions and discounts should be dropped. We’ll keep you updated.
Here‘s a translated news report from Tiempo.