News & Issues

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