Thursday, December 25, 2014

The orchestra and all the things that can go wrong on the way to opening night

You're spending all your time in bankruptcy court or in labor talks with your musicians. But you plan an opening night concert anyway. Your stagehands go on strike. Then they're back. Or are they? You're not sure. So you move your opening night concert across town. And the fancy dinner. Then your soprano cancels.

The orchestra and all the things that can go wrong on the way to opening night

You're spending all your time in bankruptcy court or in labor talks with your musicians. But you plan an opening night concert anyway. Your stagehands go on strike. Then they're back. Or are they? You're not sure. So you move your opening night concert across town. And the fancy dinner. Then your soprano cancels.

Welcome to the opening of the Philadelphia Orchestra's 2011-12 season. It happens not on home turf at the Kimmel Center, but at the University of Pennsylvania's Irvine Auditorium, Thursday night. Deborah Voigt has agreed to perform in Dawn Upshaw's stead. Now it's time to think good thoughts and hope nothing else goes wrong on the way to opening night. And to wonder: can you protect a soprano in bubble wrap?

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

Reach Peter at pdobrin@phillynews.com.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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