So this is just…weird.
First off, the MOA canceled the rest of the season today. (No surprise there; we were all expecting it.) Here’s the truly bizarre press release making the announcement.
Second, the MOA has offered dates to talk with musicians in late May. Absent the introduction of a new variable into the equation, I’m not sure what there is to talk about…but whatever.
Third, they’ve scheduled three new concerts that apparently aren’t Summerfest, but are in the summer. These new concerts have no title (go, marketing team!), so I will quote the MOA’s press release and call it “The Summer Lineup.” In a totally classy move, tickets are $45 apiece, general admission, thereby alienating poor students like me even further. Hip hip hooray; good on you, MOA. (At their concerts, musicians have always made sure there’s a $20 price-point, which is greatly appreciated.)
Fourth, The Summer Lineup is just fricking bizarre. There’s no overarching theme to it, besides too much Rachmaninoff. (It’s “The Excess of Rachmaninoff Festival,” everybody! Woo!) The first program is the Enigma Variations, The Fountains of Rome, and Rachmaninoff third piano concerto on July 20 and 21 – the second is the 2012-13 season finale program of Sibelius and Dvorak rescheduled to July 26 and 27 – and the third is Prokofiev 7, Rachmaninoff second piano concerto, and Stravinsky on August 2 and 3. The MOA doesn’t make clear if this is Summerfest, or a replacement for Summerfest, or if they once had a Summerfest scheduled but have now canceled it, or if this was going to be their Summerfest all along, or in general what the actual living freaking crap. Why three concerts? Why this particular repertoire? Why these particular soloists? Who knows? It’s almost…like it was all thrown together willy-nilly at the last minute and nobody actually believes the concerts will take place!
In one indication they kinda sorta maybe care about Carnegie (or at least want to give the impression they care about Carnegie), they’ve retained the concert with the Carnegie rep on it…just moved it from late May to late July. Will Osmo be placated? In his recent letter threatening resignation, he wrote that he thought it was “vital” that the orchestra play that repertoire in Minneapolis the week of 27 May…and that he also wanted Sudbin to play with the orchestra the week of July 22. (The MOA scheduled Osmo’s Carnegie rep that week instead.) However, Osmo did leave a bit of an escape clause in his letter, saying that as “an emergency option”, the orchestra could return to work in early September. So it appears the MOA may have skirted Osmo’s resignation (maybe) (possibly) (for now). Eyes now turn to Carnegie…will they de-invite the Orchestra from their November Carnegie shows? When?
Fifth, the Inside the Classics concert on July 25 was canceled, even though The Summer Lineup extends over July 25, and it wouldn’t have been a problem to present it during that time. A few possibilities here…
- The powers that be have it out for ITC host Sam Bergman post-barnburning-speech.
- This particular show was actually meant to be the culmination of a season-long project which actually never materialized, so they figured they might as well scrap it, anyway, while they were scrapping things.
- The concert has been marketed for months and months to align with the re-opening of Orchestra Hall…and apparently the hall is not going to be opened in July.
Which brings us to Sixth… You’ll notice: all three Summer Lineup concerts are at Ted Mann. So you know what that means. Apparently Hall isn’t going to open this summer. Wow, I’m absolutely shocked at this…in that, I’m not shocked at all, and actually saw this coming last October (although I didn’t write about it…you’ll have to trust me, I was assuming this would happen).
So I guess two questions: Is this delay because the construction is experiencing some…hiccups? Or is it because there’s no product to put in the hall? My money’s on the former. If they were positive the hall would be done by early July, wouldn’t they schedule The Summer Lineup there? It would save on rent at Ted Mann.
Anyway. Who knows at this point what the MOA is doing. I feel like I’m watching a horse stuck in quicksand. Get your crap together, guys. Get it together.