In a move aimed at saving more than $500,000, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre members will dance to recorded music instead of an orchestra when the company opens its season in October with a production of "Carmen."
Cynthia Anderson, who plays oboe in the 40-member orchestra that plays for PBT and the Pittsburgh Opera, called the decision "lunacy."
Anderson, who chairs the Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestra Committee, warned that the move could destroy PBT.
"Maybe they do that in Scranton and Backwoods, Tennessee. But Pittsburgh audiences come because they are sophisticated, because they expect artistic excellence," she said.
This is the latest news in the story I have been following about Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's financial problems. It seems that a lot of companies have had to cut back this season, but most have made cuts in the staff, not hired more dancers, or simply not offered raises to the dancers as alternatives to helping the particular companies financial situation. In a city like Pittsburgh, cutting the orchestra from the ballets while keeping the ticket prices the same is not going to encourage more ticket sales which is essentially why PBT didn't make a significant amount of money last season.
If they can save money, great. Anything to keep PBT in Pittsburgh. As long as the company is still alive, that's all that really matters. I just hate to go see a ballet performance in Pittsburgh without a live orchestra where the Pittsburgh Symphony is one of the best, world renowned symphonies. It is an honor to hear them play and even more of an honor to dance with them. Hearing the live orchestra is a perk to going to the ballet. Imagine going to see NYCB with no live orchestra! Not that PBT is of their professional or financial status, but I feel that at one time PBT was regarded very highly in the ballet world.
I think most of all this is heartbreaking to me, having grown up with PBT...
*Quote courtesy of Pittsburgh Post Gazette, to read whole article visit pittsburghpostgazette.com