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The Theatre Musicians Association condemns in the strongest possible terms the disgraceful, callous remarks made by Sir Cameron Mackintosh in an attempt to defend his mercenary decision to reduce the West End Phantom of the Opera orchestra from 27 to 14 musicians. The assertion that he is "creating art" by slashing the orchestra is nothing less than absurd. Sir Mackintosh's decision has nothing to do with art, but everything to do with profit – profit generated at the expense of talented musicians whose artistry is integral to realizing the beauty of the score and the success of the show. These actions demonstrate his belief that he can reduce the quality of the production's orchestra without fear of reprisals from the ticket-buying public, knowing full well that people will not pay full price to see half the cast or half the set. We urge Sir Mackintosh to apologize for his remarks and reinstate these musicians to the orchestra.
"I've had a terrible year trying to keep on as many as I can, but our job is to try to put a show on that can run and be brilliant. Am I sorry? I'm sorry they're upset, but I do find it odd why musicians would want to do the same thing year after year. I believe we should not be holding jobs for actors and musicians ad infinitum. This is not the Civil Service, we are creating art."-Sir Cameron Mackintosh, The Telegraph
Hello TMA member,
I am pleased to present to you a set of questions to be considered when you and your locals enter into discussions regarding return-to-work protocols with theater producers and management. This document is being sent to all Local officers by the AFM International President's office, and will also appear in the upcoming issue of the International Musician. However, I wanted you all to see it as soon as it was approved by the International Executive Board and AFM President Ray Hair.
I would like to thank all the TMA chapter directors for their insightful input as this document was being developed, and also National TMA Vice President Heather Boehm and Secretary/Treasurer Mark Pinto for their invaluable assistance in its creation.
Introducing the Audience to the Pit
Musical theatre and
technology have always had a bit of an uneasy relationship. The modern
musical was born out of the light opera traditions of Gilbert and Sullivan
in the 19th century, where it was the norm for large pit orchestras to
accompany the singers on stage. The �Golden Age Of Theatre (1940�s-1960�s)
saw the premiers of many of the classics of the art form by the likes of
Porter, Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, and Gershwin, and culminating with the
shows of Rodgers and Hammerstein. As a rule, those shows used large
orchestras. Oklahoma (1943) used 28 musicians in the pit, and Carousel
(1945) had an orchestra of 39. Not only did audiences expect a show to have
an ensemble of this size, there was no viable technology that could replace