Is Hamlet the only madman in Danish government?

Earlier this month, plans were tabled to dismember the Royal Orchestra, which plays in the opera house at Copenhagen. The costs of running the glorious new opera house means they can’t afford a full orchestra. All cultural institutions are taking cuts of two percent.

So now the Danes have built a lavish new arena for concerts, and the Crown Prince opened it yesterday. The cost was 1.4 billion Danish crowns – about £160 million.

To be, or not to be?

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  • Put money into the players first. The orchestra can travel, the players can play different music. The hall can’t go anywhere, and halls usually are best suited for a particular style of music or size of ensemble.
    If the players are compensated like the best orchestra in the world and there’s money left over, then think about a better hall – but if you invest in good players and conductor, the music can go places the most expensive hall in the world cannot.
    As for halls that are already good – they can only live up to that if the ensembles they host are also the best – and at least one of those ensembles should be a local one.

  • This “lavish new arena for concerts” is actually a multi-use facility. It is not designed for classical music events; in fact, the “opening act” this week includes three concerts by Metallica. It’s a conference and exhibition hall, with a capacity of up to 16,000.

    The “real” hall, Jean Nouvel’s Koncerthuset, opened in 2009. It looks like a beautiful space. Let’s get ALL of our facts right. It’s bad enough living in the U.S. these days.

    • Your very wry last sentence made me chuckle, Brian. Thank you. I thought Trump would cause a constitutional crisis, but I really didn’t think he’d manage to do it in ten days. Every part of the First Amendment has gone down the tubes. And if also the scoffing at court orders re the travel ban is on orders from the W.H., impeachment looms.

      • Classical music will always be important to some people, and even if we’re left with community orchestras and playing music in our living rooms – but it’s not going away.
        It’s more important than money – and too many people on this planet can’t think of anything more important than money. After they’re gone, someone takes all their junk to the Goodwill – and the greatest thing they ever did was buy an upscale dishwasher. Congratulations. Nothing worth putting in a museum, nothing worth putting in a library.
        Nothing to share for future generations – nothing to perform 200 years from now and connect future humans to your story. What you want is a bunch of critics 200 years from now who can say your music is too conservative. OK that’s a problem for another day…

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