Local and Industry News

After years of delays, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando has finally opened.

The opening ceremonies included a November 6 ribbon-cutting, a free Sheryl Crow concert in the Seneff Arts Plaza, a concert by Emmylou Harris in the 304-seat Pugh Theater, and performances of Broadway & Beyond and Orlando Ballet's Carmina Burana in the 2,731-seat Walt Disney Theater.

The 50,000-square-foot Faena Forum, designed by Rem Koolhaas, is set to open in Miami Beach in December 2015. The arts center will be designed with flexible spaces for performances and events and will be used to encourage dialogue about Latin American cultural practices.


SAG-AFTRA has reached an agreement with the major television broadcast networks. The new agreement, which would run through June 2018, calls for 8.7 percent raises over three years, a half-percent increase in Health and Retirement Funds contributions, and a 36-percent increase in background rehearsal rates starting in year two.

The Library of Congress' Copyright Royalty Board is in the process of determining webcasting royalty rates for 2016 through 2020, and should announce its decision sometime in 2015. Webcasters such as iHeartMedia and Pandora are proposing rate cuts of as much as 92 percent, while SoundExchange, which collects and distributes royalties to artists, is asking for a 79 percent increase in rates. The current rate is $0.0014 per stream (or about seven streams for a penny).


Palm Beach Opera has received a $500,000 matching grant from Sandra and Paul Goldner in support of its educational programs. Palm Beach Opera educational programs include Opera in the Classroom, an apprentice program for high school students, and open dress rehearsals for middle and high school students.

Opera Naples will have a new home starting in February 2015. The 4,100-square-foot David and Cecile Wang Opera Center is a ballroom-like space with about 264 stadium-style seats. Half of this season's productions, including February's Cosi Fan Tutte, will take place in the new space.

Florida Grand Opera is holding town hall meetings and soliciting donations to address its serious financial difficulties. The opera has had only one break-even year since 2006, and has only been able to address its $19.4 million in debt by selling its assets. The Leiser Center and the parking lot near the Arsht Center have been sold, and the Opera's Doral rehearsal space is up for sale. This season's budget is only $8.6 million, down from its 2006 peak of $22.2 million, and administrative staff have been reduced from 40 to 18 positions. The Opera has launched a three-year, $17.5 million SAY YES!! to Opera campaign in hopes of rebuilding its endowment and implementing a plan to transform the Opera into an organization with broader public support and closer connections to the community.

The Atlanta Symphony has reached an agreement with musicians and musicians have returned to work after a two-month lockout. The agreement, reached with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, calls for a six percent wage increase over four years, and an increase in the size of the orchestra from 77 musicians to 88 by the end of the fourth year.


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