Things That Make You Go Buh?!? When A Conductor Tells Children There Is No Santa Clause

Sometimes, patrons leave a concert early to get at the front of the parking rush. It’s a reality of live events and yes, it can be frustrating for both fellow patrons and performers. But why on earth a conductor would be so offended as to retaliate by telling children there is no Santa Clause during a winter family show is stupefying.

Nonetheless, that’s precisely what happened per multiple reports when conductor Giacomo Loprieno took a microphone to announce “Father Christmas doesn’t exist” at the end of a “Disney in concert: Frozen” event.

That’s right, the conductor reportedly unleashed one of the biggest spoilers of all time to the dismay of parents and children.

No Santa
To all those heading for the door, the maestro has a special message.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the presenting organization replaced Loprieno and issued statements disavowing his comments and calling them “horrible” and declaring Loprieno was “out of place.” Damage control went so far as showing the replacement conductor, Marco Dallara, hugging Santa.

Yes, patrons stampeding to the exits in order to be at the tip of the egress spear is loaded with its fair share of unpleasantness, for fellow patrons and performers alike. But when the artistic figurehead lashes out, it only reinforces a terribly damaging prima donna hole the field has been digging out of for some time.

It’s been nice to see this series go so long without an entry but there’s simply no way to avoid adding this to the pile.

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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