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The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will put on two free concerts Saturday at Wayzata Community Church.
The performances are billed as “family friendly” with selections from Beethoven, Mozart and Bizet. The concerts are at 2 and 4 p.m. No tickets are necessary.
William Schrickel, the bass player, will conduct the concerts.
The Minnesota Orchestra has canceled concerts through the end of April because of the ongoing labor dispute.
Among the notable casualties:
Yevgeny Sudbin had been scheduled to play Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 2 with Osmo Vanska conducting April 11-13; Concertmaster Erin Keefe was to play Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting on the 25th and 26th.
As usual, ticketholders will be notified
There are only three more classical programs and two pops concerts on the schedule before the 2012-13 season ends on June 2. With no negotiations scheduled in the contract standoff, it would appear at this point the entire season is in peril.
This season was to have been presented at the Minneapolis Convention Center while Orchestra Hall underwent a $52 million renovation. The Hall is scheduled to reopen with a program on July 25.
Musicians were locked out on Oct. 1 after rejecting a proposal that would have cut base salaries by 32 percent. The union has not made a counterproposal and since Sept. 30, the two sides have met only once – on Jan. 2. At that time, they agreed to move forward with a financial analysis of the orchestra, but they since have not agreed on the parameters of that analysis.
Composer and pianist Gregg Kallor has set poems of Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats to music, and they will be performed in a free concert March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota.
The singer will be mezzo Adriana Zabala, who teaches voice at the University and was recently seen as Sister James in the Minnesota Opera's world premiere opera "Doubt."
Kallor and Zabala premiered the song cycle in 2007 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, and recorded them the following year. Zabala has appeared several times with Minnesota Opera and with numerous orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra.
Kallor's most recent Carnegie Hall concert, in April 2011, featured the world premiere of his nine-movement suite for solo piano, "A Single Noon" - - a musical tableau of New York life told through a combination of composed music and improvisation."
Kallor's fetishized coffee-drinking music video, "Espresso Nirvana," below, is set to the sixth movement of the suite.
Mill City Summer Opera found enough success last summer to announce a second production. The company will stage Rossin's "The Barber of Seville" in mid-July at the courtyard of the Mill City Museum.
David Lefkowich, who directed last year's "Pagliacci" at Mill City, will return and Brian DeMaris will conduct the orchestra.
Mill City sold out its run of "Pagliacci" in its inaugural season last year. The courtyard was arranged for about 300-400 seats. "The Barber of Seville" is Rossini's comedic masterpiece and one of the most popular opera buffa.
"Pagliacci" was a quick seller. Tickets for "Seville" go on sale May 20 at tickets.mnhs.org or 612-341-7582. That's May 20! So don't flood that website just yet. The opera runs July 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21. Opening night is $150. Otherwise, $30-$75.
Do the numbers add up?
Talks between management and musicians at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have stalled for a moment, with each side questioning the other’s financial calculations and demands.
Musicians say that management refuses to compromise on its demand that annual savings of $1.5 million be realized. Management acknowledges that they’ve been set on that figure for 14 months.
“We have told them for more than a year and we need to get to $1.5 million and we can’t get halfway there,” said board chair Dobson West.
The musicians claim that they have offered savings of $3.4 million over three years, an average of $1.13 million. West responds that the union has acknowledged those numbers are flawed. Carole Mason Smith, chair of the musicians’ negotiating team, batted that one back over the net:
“We have acknowledged that we’re missing information that they have not supplied,” Smith said. “They have yet to prove to us that any of their proposals will add up to $1.5 million.”
To that end, West said management is putting together detailed financial information that will be delivered to the other side no later than next Tuesday.
Unlike the faceoff at the Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO negotiators have been meeting regularly and with greater frequency in the past month. The musicians had issued a press release Wednesday afternoon that said there was a “breakdown of contract talks.”
West was surprised at that lingo and when asked later if things were really that dire, Smith said there were still loose ends to tied up and if they don’t get tied up, it could become dire.
Wednesday’s developments come after the SPCO announced on Tuesday that it was cancelling concerts through April 21 because of the labor dispute. There would still be 21 concerts remaining after April 21, through the first weekend in June, if the two sides reach agreement.
The SPCO contract expired last summer but was extended to Sept. 30. When players declined to respond to an offer on Oct. 21, they were locked out.
Despite the kerfuffle over missing information and which numbers add up, the SPCO situation is far ahead of the Minnesota Orchestra. Representatives of musicians and management there are attempting to reach agreement on the parameters for a financial analysis of the organization.
After not meeting since Sept. 30, the two sides sat down in early January and agreed to a “fresh start.”
It has now been more than two months since that ephemeral whiff of optimism and there is no agreement on what the financial analysis will consist of. Actual talks on a contract would not occur until after the financial analysis is completed.