Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Drama Drop -

* Just when you thought I was done reporting on stories about budgets getting cut - This fiscal year, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera will cut nearly $1 million in operating costs from its $19 million budget. Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO, and music director Keith Lockhart volunteered to take a 10 percent salary cut. A majority of the musicians voted in favor of everyone giving back a back 11.5 percent of their salaries and portion of their benefits. Erich Graf, USUO principal flutist and president of local chapter 104 of the American Federation of Musicians, said "Nobody's happy that this happened," and added that musicians were presented with one possible alternative from the union if the musicians didn't concede. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the alternative was simple: Chapter 11.

* An update to a story we ran recently about the new arts school in LA. Tim Rutten wrote an opinion piece for the LA Times in which, among other things, he says
Unfortunately, the new high school of the arts is caught in one of those peculiar Los Angeles time warps -- a gap created by the disparity between old grievances and the uncertain but hopeful future. Whether or not it was a good idea to build such a lavish arts education facility, we now have one. It, like our children, deserves a chance to succeed, which is why the district should hand the campus over to a competent charter organization and open admissions to the city as a whole. There's a difference between excellence and elitism.
* The Dallas Opera says its longtime director of artistic administration, Jonathan Pell, has been promoted to serve as artistic director. The position of artistic director was last held by Nicola Rescigno, one of the company's co-founders. Rescigno died last year at the age of 92. The post of artistic director hasn't existed since Rescigno left in 1990.

* Protecting a legacy is hard work - especially when there are only two of you. Blanche Burton-Lyles and Phyllis Sims move about rather gingerly. It's all the years behind them. But, this is a labor of love for them. After all, this Society of Two is tasked with keeping Marian Anderson's voice alive. Wil Haygood of The Washington Post has written a spectacular article about these ladies, who maintain the two-story house at No. 762 on South Martin Street, now known as Marian Anderson Way. It is in this house that the great contralto used to live - owning, at one time, 7 homes on the block. It's a forgotten place, though and it would seem that Anderson is a forgotten icon. Haygood reports that there isn't a single visitor during the better part of five hours. In February the two women hosted a Marian Anderson Classical Icon Vocal Competition. First prize was $10,000. Burton-Lyles had expected a corporate donor to come through, but it didn't happen. She dug into her own savings for the cash.

[Photo - Blanche Burton-Lyles, left, and Phyllis Sims preserve the memory of the contralto who sang at the Lincoln Memorial after being barred from another site by the DAR. By Linda Davidson - The Washington Post]

1 comment:

Ferguson said...


It was a good post.People likeBlanche Burton-Lyles and Phyllis has done incredible job by ogranising Classical Icon Vocal Competition .

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