Local and Industry News

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts has promoted Coral Springs resident Kelley Shanley from executive vice president and general manager to President and CEO. He succeeds Mark Nerenhausen, who will be moving to Dallas to run the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.

Broadway ticket sales are down 10 percent as compared to last year. Attendance is down and shows are closing early, however, historians have noted that Broadway survived the Great Depression better than most other organizations.

The construction of Orlando's new performing arts center may be delayed by the worsening economy, according to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Dyer also noted that new financing that is less reliant on tourist taxes will be necessary.


According to Nielsen Soundscan, sales of digital songs exceeded 1 billion downloads last year. Total music purchases were up 10.5 percent from the previous year. Total album sales were down 14 percent as a record 70 percent of transactions in 2008 were digital downloads.

Apple has announced variable pricing on iTunes. Song prices will vary from $.76 to $1.29, and most will now be sold without copy-protection.

Forrester Research has released a report showing the recording business model evolving toward more free access for consumers with record companies relying on more funding from digital licensing, in addition to direct sales.

Universal Music and Sony Ericsson have reached an agreement to allow Universal artists to promote their music through Sony Ericsson's online and phone-based services. Artists will forgo licensing payments in exchange for the additional exposure.


Florida Grand Opera will cut its budget by 30 percent to $10 million and will only present four productions for the 2009-2010 season. FGO is presenting five productions this season and last season presented six productions. The FGO will also be freezing wages and will no longer be making contributions to staff retirement plans.

Thanks to a $250,000 gift from two donors, live orchestra has returned to the Atlanta Ballet. The Ballet danced to tape for the past two seasons, resulting in public scorn and fewer ticket sales. The Ballet has also received $10 million, including $3 million from the Carlos Foundation, to boost its endowment and for marketing and audience development.

The Atlanta Opera has reached its Capacity Campaign goal six months early. The $10.9 million raised will be used to fund new initiatives and infrastructure growth.

The Detroit Symphony will be producing 13, 30-minute episodes for a new series on WTVS-TV. The series, hosted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, will address topics such as getting more out of a concert experience, music education, musicians and their instruments, and how an orchestra creates a concert program.

The Sacramento Ballet has canceled the remaining 12 performances of its season due to the economic downturn. The Ballet has also reduced its staff by 25 percent, to 9 employees. The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra has also canceled its last two performances of the season in an attempt to shore up finances.

The Metropolitan Opera is replacing planned major productions with less expensive productions to address a 66 percent decline in the value of Met funds. Senior staff have also taken 10% pay cuts.

The New York City Opera will present a reduced season when it returns to Lincoln Center for its 2009-2010 season. The Opera intends to present only five to seven productions, down from the 16 productions it was presenting nearly a decade ago.

Orlando Opera has laid off four staffers, or 25 percent of its full-time workforce. The remaining administrative staff will be receiving pay cuts of 5 to 15 percent. The 51-year-old organization has a budget of $2.9 million.

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