Even Marathons Have To End

Good news in Phoenix as the Arizona Opera Company and the Arizona Opera Orchestra Musicians’ Association reached a tentative agreement on Sunday, 3/9/2008. The 12 month long negotiation reached a critical point last month when both sides approved a side letter to the agreement which guarantees the Arizona Opera Orchestra Musicians right of first refusal for all productions through the 2011/12 season. The first two years in the three year contract call for across the board freezes for wages, mileage, and per diem for the per service ensemble while the final year of the contract provides modest improvements in each of those categories.

In other news, Inside The Arts author John Rosenkrans recently published a comprehensive and engaging review of Alex Ross’ hit book The Rest Is Noise at his music and culture book review column, Books On Culture. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Perhaps one of his greatest gifts (as Emmanuel Ax points out on the dust jacket) is that "you want to hear to run and listen to every note he talks about," and for me that even included music that I already knew that I did not like at all.

John’s review serves as an excellent precursor for those not yet familiar with Alex’s book and for those who are, it is a wonderful way to complete an already satisfying reading experience.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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1 thought on “Even Marathons Have To End”

  1. Drew,

    Thanks for covering and supporting us. Every little bit helps.

    Cindy, press contact for the AZOOMA Negotiating Committee

    You’re welcome Cindy, this season has shaped up to be a very rough year for a number of organizations and the business needs to see as many aspects of what is going on as possible. Thanks to you and your colleagues for putting together such an informative and professional website for folks in the new media to use for information! ~ Drew McManus

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