Local and Industry News

Live entertainment company AEG is building an entertainment district on four acres of the former LifeWay Christian Resources campus at Nashville Yards in Nashville.

The district will include a 4,000-seat indoor music venue, an 850-seat Regal Cinemas complex, a 600-seat live entertainment club, and a 240-room hotel. The 4 million square feet will include retail, office, residential, and entertainment facilities worth more than $1 billion.

Miami City Ballet has launched its first Palm Beach County summer camp. The two-week camp, sponsored by Margaret and Jay Axelrod and the Celia Lipton and Victor W. Farris Foundation, will be held at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Students were chosen by audition and will attend free of charge.

California has permanently increased its funding for the California Arts Council by $6.8 million. Prior to the increase, California ranked 40th in per capita arts funding among states. Total Arts Council funding will rise to $19.48 million, plus an additional $8 million for Arts in Corrections.

Kristin Podack has been appointed to the board of the Arsht Center. Podack previously served as secretary of the board of Florida Grand Opera.

Wicked has passed Phantom of the Opera in Broadway revenue. The show, which opened in 2003, has earned $1.12 billion on Broadway and $4.5 billion worldwide. The Lion King, which opened in 1997, still holds the lead with $1.38 billion on Broadway and $6 billion worldwide.

Sarasota County has approved $2 million in tourist tax grants for the arts, a three percent increase from last year. The grants are funded by a half penny of each dollar of tourist tax revenues. Recipients include the Sarasota Pops Orchestra ($7,799) and Sarasota Opera ($93,780).

recording

Music producer Winston "DJ" Blackout Thomas, musician Shawn Mims, and recording industry veteran Erik Mendelson have founded RecordGram. The music collaboration app allows amateur musicians to search for beats, add lyrics and vocals, and create a professional-sounding audio file that they can share on social media or send privately to producers. Producers pay a fee to upload beats and can then charge to lease tracks to aspiring artists.

The mid-year report from Nielsen shows on-demand audio streams are up 62.4 percent over last year. Despite a decline in physical and digital sales, overall audio consumption is up 8.9 percent.

A Minnesota judge has rescinded a portion of the $31 million deal between Universal Music Group and the Prince estate. After the deal was negotiated the label learned that Warner Music owns the rights to the 1979 to 1995 catalog until 2021. In order to prevent a possible overlap of rights, they will renegotiate.

symphonic

Former Opera Orlando community engagement director Nicole Dupre has formed Opera Del Sol. The new opera company will collaborate with artists from other genres and stage shows in unexpected places. Next season, the company will present an original opera set in outer space, a one-woman opera based on Julia Child accompanied by a five-course dinner, and a curated art show. Cocoa-based Space Coast Symphony will accompany the opera company.

Venice Symphony musicians say they have received disrespectful treatment after the departure of interim music director Imre Pallo. At least five musicians have been dismissed, several have resigned, and many others have yet to be notified if they will be engaged for next season. Musicians are complaining that the hiring decisions, which are being handled by the personnel manager, are subjective, arbitrary, and unprofessional.

The Sarasota Opera has received $20,000 from the NEA to commission and produce the youth opera, Rootabaga Country. The opera, by composer Rachel J. Peters, is based on the 1922 Carl Sandburg book Rootabaga Stories and will feature 10 to 15 youth solo roles.

The Sarasota Orchestra has received $10,000 from the NEA in support of the Sarasota Music Festival. The three-week summer residency program was founded in 1965 by conductor Paul Wolfe.

The San Diego Symphony has set a new sales record. Revenue for the Masterworks classical series was up 15.6 percent, and overall paid attendance was up 8.2 percent. Ticket revenue has risen for the past two seasons.

Florida Grand Opera principal conductor Ramon Tebar has been appointed chief conductor of the Valencia Orchestra in Valencia, Spain. Valencia is Tebar's hometown.

Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony have donated $10,000 to the endowment for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra. The Pittsburgh Ballet has raised 86 percent of the $4 million goal for the endowment, which will enable sustainable, long-term funding for live music to accompany the ballet.

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