Readers Write: (Jan. 16): Minnesota Orchestra, Guthrie, minimum wage, I-394, bottle bill, home prices

  • Updated: January 15, 2014 - 6:08 PM

Fans of Minnesota culture, you’ve got some love to spread around.



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Support the music, and a whole lot more

Bravo to the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. And bravo to whoever said “enough.” It was so dumb to dis the musicians and conductor. I promise to support the orchestra as best I can, along with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, the Guthrie, the Twins, the Vikings, the Timberwolves and the Wild. I can’t wait to get back to Orchestra Hall, and I can’t wait for the new facility where the Vikings will play. Yay, Minnesota.


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Like all Minnesota lovers of fine music, I am delighted about the end of the lockout between the musicians and the Minnesota Orchestral Association. We must learn from this unfortunate episode and ensure that it never happens again. The distinction between the musicians and music we love and the MOA was clearly demonstrated. The MOA is a social and, yes, philanthropic tool of the wealthy. Its dedication to the very finest in music is ancillary.

I urge the various organizations and efforts recently dedicated to maintaining the quality of the Minnesota Orchestra to now concentrate their efforts on the establishment of an alternative means of support for these world-class musicians to supplement their salaries from the MOA. While the contribution would be small in proportion to their regular salaries, this alternative organization would dilute to some extent the power of the MOA to control the presentation of classical music in Minneapolis. Both the MOA and this new organization can and should survive. But unless your giving is in the tens of thousands and you can buy a seat on the board, it is better given to an alternative organization, which will ensure that the MOA maintains a vision on the music.


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The orchestra deal is worthy of Page One? While the most obvious hate-crime story (“Teen convicted for role in brutal St Paul beating”) is relegated to small print at the bottom of the page? The Red Star’s priorities are misplaced.




Less hibernation might help finances

With all due respect to the theater we love, the Guthrie, I have to wonder about a business that complains about historical financial losses, then chooses to forgo revenue activity for two weeks in September and nearly six weeks in January and February? How many businesses can afford no sales for almost eight weeks in a year? Seriously, how long does it take to clean the carpet, polish up the lobby and tune up the lights?

Despite previous letters to the editor complaining about legroom and profanity, in truth, that’s not it. The Guthrie is an amazing, enviable theater venue that no one complains about when they’re enraptured in one of the fabulous plays the Guthrie company — or another local troupe — often puts on in the facility. The crowds that flocked to the Tony Kushner season, to “End of the Rainbow” and to many other productions were just happy. More recently, however, too many of the plays have been those where people going for a lift out of a long winter’s seasonal affective disorder have found themselves unable to return for the second dose of dismal after intermission. Is it time for some new energy and balance in the playbill lineup — especially in winter?



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