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A Possible Strike?!?!?!

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I was informed by someone with the front-of -the -house staff at the MET. The ushers were informed Saturday nite at a meeting that Monday's Gala is probably on. But, they were given a special number for the following nites(Tues. on) to find out if there will be a performance that nite. Sorry about the brevity of my opening comments. The ushers were also told that the chances for a strike are not suppose to be that great. But I hate to write this, because was that an educated guess or based on some actual info from negotiations?????

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There has been a settlement. This is the press release (which I believe Dale has posted separately.)



American Ballet Theatre (ABT) announced today that it reached a three-year agreement with Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians.

ABT has been engaged in negotiations with Local 802 since mid-March.

Rachel S. Moore, Executive Director of ABT, stated: “We’re delighted to report that we reached a three year agreement last evening with the musicians’ orchestra for ABT (Local 802). ABT is committed to the use of live music and we are pleased that the musicians will be on board for the opening of our Metropolitan Opera House season.”


Monday, May 23, 2005

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Thank Goodness!!!!! :clapping: I would have hated a strike, but I think

that a "virtual orchestra" would also be a disaster. There is nothing like live music.

I made the post yesterday after knowing about a possible strike for almost a full day. If I obtain info that potentially could affect plans that someone made to see a performance, I feel its my duty as a fellow

fan to at least let them know about possible future actions. I promise everyone on this site that my info will always come from a reliable person who is an opera and ballet fan, in the position to get inside info. :wink:

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Thanks for the thought, fandeballet, but "inside info from a reliable person who is an opera and ballet fan" is exactly what is NOT allowed under the site's gossip policy. we post only published reports or press releases. Put four "knowledgeable fans" in a room in a gossip situation and you will have approximatly 16 conflicting stories :clapping:

The Gossip Policy (posted on Rules and Policies forum):

Gossip: What is and is not allowed on this board.

We know it's enticing to know what goes on backstage, but when it's posted, it can cause problems. We've addressed this in several threads as issues have arisen, but it seemed time to have a policy.

The Golden Rule is that we use the same rules for posting news that a newspaper or magazine, with trained journalists, use.

1. Asking questions or posting information about about who's seeing whom, or who broke up with whom, or whom the artistic director does or doesn't like, or anything of a personal nature are OFF LIMITS. Period.

2. Posts about watching classes or rehearsals that are not open to the GENERAL PUBLIC are private as far as the dancers and the company are concerned and that privacy will be respected. Posts describing or commenting upon such events will be deleted.

3. Regarding injuries, if someone falls on stage, or misses a week of performances, people will be curious and concerned and query posts are permissible. The moderators will try to check with the company about the injury and post if there's an official response. But we won't allow speculation on the nature and extent of the injury. We will regard the company's answer as the official word on such matters; disputes are inappropriate. We don't want to become a ballet version of The Drudge Report.

4. If you post "Company X is going to visit City B" or "John Jones will take over the lead in X's new ballet because Tim Smith is injured" or anything of that sort, please quote the source -- a weblink or article in paper, or that it's info on a poster, flyers, etc. "I heard" is not a source. (Does the person intend for his/her words to be posted on the internet? Not likely. If s/he does, s/he is welcome to come to the site, register, and post them.) Company or dancer news you've overheard from someone in the audience or as you walk by people talking backstage is gossip.

What's an allowable source? If it's in print -- in a newspaper or magazine article, on a web site, in a brochure, a newspaper ad, or on a poster outside the theater, that's news. If not, it's gossip.

We will delete gossip posts -- many of which are made in all innocence and with the sweetest of intentions -- leaving a message

A reminder: if you take the information from a web site, please credit that web site, whether it's a personal web site or a company one -- and especially if it's another message board! We'd also ask that people who first find information on this web site credit it if posting it elsewhere.


Addenda, May 25, 2003:

We hate to do this, but the posting of gossip is becoming a problem that needs to be solved. Someone posts a rumor, and, perhaps before the moderators get a chance to see it and delete it, others have commented -- so when we do edit or delete, there are bad feelings all around.

Consequently, I'm initiating a "three strikes and you're out" rule. Once is an understandable mistake; please read the rules. Twice warrants a reminder and a clarification. Third time, posting privileges will be suspended unless and until we are assured that the poster understands the policy and will adhere to it.

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I'm dying to know what a "virtual orchestra machine" is.  :(

This machine is probably very similar to, or possibly the same as, the machine that caused a three-day strike of Broadway musicians a few years ago. Its essentially a very complex synthesizer, that can reproduce the sound of a full orchestra's many different parts - strings, winds, percussions, etc. At the moment, it's mostly used to "fill out" a pit orchestra, generally for tours of Broadway musicals, adding the sound of more musicians to create the sense that a full orchestra is there when only a few musicians are present. The opposition is due to the fact that it could also replace the entire orchestra if need be.

I saw a production of "Oliver" recently that used this new machine. You can definetly tell with the synthesized strings - even if it is much better than most synthesizers, the sound is nevertheless flat and tinny. But from a producing perspective, it makes it much more cost effective to tour since the expense of live musicians can really add up. And I suppose if I wasn't told that the virtual orchestra machine was in the pit, I may not have even noticed it.

And its the notion that this machine could replace live musicians that has all the musicians unions very against it.

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Thanks for the explanation, Art. I guess it's another example of technology replacing humans. I suppose the argument could be made that since many if not most ballet companies now perform to taped music, this is not much worse, but the alarm bells sound when a company like ABT that has always used a live orchestra considers it. It's a relief to know that that's not in the cards, at least for three more years at the Met.

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Art076, thanks for your post.

I'm curious about how it looks and functions. I assume (?) someone "plays" it in the pit. How does the conductor relate to him or her? Although sound quality is inferior, at least this would obviate one of the worst aspects of taped music: the inalterable tempi. This would sseem to be a distinct improvement over pre-recorded music -- though of course not the ideal.

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