The latest from the Lyric Opera of Chicago strike, plus composers, creators, and pathbreaking musicians in the news.
Lyric Opera of Chicago strike update
With little apparent progress in negotiations, the Lyric Opera of Chicago strike threatens to enter its second week, the Chicago Tribune reports. Managers and musicians released conflicting statements to the media, arguing about whether management's most recent offer included any substantial concessions to musician demands. Management-proposed cuts would reduce the season by two weeks and the complement by five musicians.
Update: On Saturday evening, Oct. 13, Lyric Opera of Chicago musicians and management reached a tentative 3-year agreement to end the strike; it was ratified on Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune reports. The orchestra size will reduce from 74 to 70 and weeks will reduce from 24 to 22, though an added spring musical will yield pay increases for many in the orchestra.
Composers and creators
Rufus Wainwright decribes his first opera, which premiered in 2009, as "such a nightmare on so many levels" -- nevertheless, he persisted and wrote a second opera, Hadrian, which will be premiered this month in a Canadian Opera Company production. The New York Times featured an interview and behind-the-scene look at the new opera's creation.
Colorado Public Radio highlighted a new piece by Canadian composer Jordan Pal, written for and performed by the Thunder Bay Symphony and the Gryphon Trio. The full recording is available on the CPR website, which notes its deft emulation of a flock of starlings in flight.
Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury, who stars in the Canadian Opera Company's new production of Eugene Onegin, was profiled by the Globe and Mail. El-Khoury, who immigrated to Canada from Lebanon with her family at age 6, spoke about the influence of her heritage and combining operatic and Arabic musical traditions.
For Women's History Month, the Kingston Whig-Standard salutes Canadian violinist and conductor Ethel Stark. A native of Montreal, Stark toured as soloist with the Toronto Symphony, conducted the CBC Radio Orchestra, and founded and led the Montreal Women's Symphony Orchestra, performing across Canada and in Carnegie Hall.
Yuri Hooker, principal cello of the Winnipeg Symphony, was profiled by CHVN Radio (an online, religious broadcaster) as he launches a new project combining performance and worship, SOLAS:Vespers.
The Winnipeg Sun quizzes new Winnipeg Symphony music director Daniel Raiskin with 20 questions on his likes and interests, musical and otherwise.
And the City of Regina will contribute $20,000 towards celebrations of the Regina Symphony's 110-year anniversary, the Leader-Post reports.