The labor impasse silencing the Minnesota Orchestra continues. Calls for acceptance of the new normal go unheeded, the union rejecting the latest offer. I like this summation from a reader comment in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, edited a bit for added clarity:
This model is outdated. The union and its supporters want to blame management. And if it isn't management then it's marketing. If it's not marketing, then it's the stupid audience that doesn't want to hear some obscure B-side from some Finnish fisherman. People don't want to pay money to sit with old people, listening to old disgruntled union players play old music in a hall from from the 1960's. This is why revenue doesn't equal expenses. If only the union would allow innovative ideas for distribution and performance, and perhaps some fresh blood on stage that is actually engaged, playing pieces that interest people. Instead, we seem to be building an orchestra just so the New York Times and some audiences in Europe will like us.
In other words, the union is going for broke. Surely its members know they're in a declining industry, another victim of progress like audio CD recordings. What made the predecessor Minneapolis Symphony famous in the 1950's were the recordings of conductor Antal Dorati's Tchaikovsky performances. The medium was the message even then. Given this prelude, from whence cometh the fugue?
Why us, of course, the taxpayers. It could come from multiple directions, mostly likely a furtive rider like the public library funding hidden in the Twins Stadium funding. It could come next week, in the Special Session disaster relief bill. It might get some Legacy funding. But I'm betting it will show up in next year's off-year budgeting, perhaps part of whatever liberal vs liberal deal undoes the unpopular business to business taxes. And maybe the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra which has resumed will get a taste as well.
Why, the Governor won't even know it's in the bill!