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Sunday’s RPO advertisement

January 7, 2013

If you subscribe to the Democrat & Chronicle’s Sunday paper, you may have seen the RPO’s four-page insert covering the front page of the paper for yesterday, Jan. 6. Notable with regard to the classical concerts are the large ads for the February concert with guest conductor Ward Stare and the March concert with guest conductor Christopher Seaman but the absence of Maestro Remmereit’s photograph and his name from any of the remaining concerts that he is scheduled to conduct (the earliest ones being the January 24 and 26 concerts).

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18 Comments
  1. ted cichanowicz permalink

    got an email today announcing that Remmereit would not be conducting the Mozart concerts. I find this reprehensible.

    • I agree wholeheartedly! Please tell the RPO office how you feel, and then post a copy of it here.

      And be sure to bring all like-minded friends and relatives to the meeting this Thursday night (1/10/13) in the Public Library’s Gleason Auditorium at 5:30 pm. You might want to get there early, to get a good seat.

      • ted cichanowicz permalink

        Christina–it was a pleasure meeting you also, this evening. In watching all the local channels tonite, I was very disappointed that they gave Mr Berry the last word in what I felt was a very smug response, confidently announcing that there was no doubt there will be a new music director. I am also very suspicious of any comment coming from the Board that says that donations are up. The way that they have manipulated information makes it very hard to take what they say seriously in my opinion.
        Mr Carte tells us that the community is behind the orchestra….well of course we are. We love the orchestra. And attendance recently has been good because, well, largely in part because Maestro Remmereit has prepared them well, until the fateful announcement. He would love for Mr Remmereits supporters to go away. I thought it was telling that we learned Mr Remmereit has not been paid since early December. John Sullivan was awesome! Loved his candor and his passion.

        Finally, I was amused at your reference to Richard (D’oly) Carte…because it was that man who was instrumental in breaking up the relationship between Gilbert & Sullivan!

      • Ted, I was so pleased to meet you – another intelligent, discerning person who will not let pro-management flunkies mesmerize him!

        Of course I am disgusted that with all our work arranging the meeting and bringing out 215 of Arild’s many supporters, that the 5% of the audience who are not with us get the last word in some TV reports.

        But we all well know that this meeting, and its attendant publicity are steps on a road. I’m still a child of the ’60s, and I remember. We had to speak our minds many times, to protest, to get tear-gassed and yet return, until President Johnson refused to run for a second term, and the US finally got out of Viet Nam. Eternal vigilance IS the price.

        Speaking out was a new experience for my partner, John Sullivan. He decided to do it on his own, and he wrote every word. He has courage and guts. Now his colleagues who are friends will see him in a new light, and with respect. He was honored that the Maestro appreciated his remarks, and told him so.

        Richard Carte was actually Richard D’Oly Carte’s father. And the famous Carpet Fight was mostly Gilbert’s fault, and, like the Beatles, it was time.

        BTW, I am a long-time member of the Off-Monroe Players, Rochester’s Gilbert & Sullivan group since 1977. We generally perform a show in May, and one in November. May’s show will be Utopia, Ltd., set in the South Seas. If you’re not already an audience member, I hope you’ll become one.

      • ted cichanowicz permalink

        Interesting Christina. I produced ‘Pirates’ at McGill University in 1970 and performed in Ruddigore and Patience prior to that. I love G&S–I wish the RPO would do an entire program of overtures. Utopia Ltd is probably the least known of the collaborations, as you know. I still love listening to the old London records versions with Martyn Green, Thomas Round, Donald Adams and so many of the G&S greats.
        In reflecting on Mr Berry’s comments….has he personally taken a poll of all those audience members who side with the board? Or is he just seeing that folks are still attending concerts…because they love the orchestra and because Mr Remmereit had so wonderfully prepared them. The honest proof would be to pay the man and let him conduct. Then watch and hear the audience reaction. THAT more than anything else would be proof AND truth. I also reject the statement that seems to persist that a ‘vast majority’ of musicians side with the board. John said it nicely…the orchestra is ‘divided’…that doesn’t constitute ‘vast majority’ in my mind.
        Finally what in the world did Mr Angus mean when he said Remmereit ‘is not a collaborator’. I dare say he is not an ‘enabler’; he is not a ‘settler’. He demands excellence…and apparently he has gotten it. Any musician whose skin is so thin as to not take criticism (even if its perceived as ‘harsh’) is a musician that just wants to get by. Mr Remmereit (in the eyes and ears of so many audience attenders) has elevated these musicians to the highest levels. If THAT isn’t what its all about, I don’t know what is. If the ‘vast majority’ of the musicians are that unhappy, they certainly don’t show it when its curtain time. (which is, as entertainers, the most important time) Grossy unhappy musicians don’t perform at peak levels for long…I haven’t seen any evidence of the RPO slowing down or watering down their excellent performances.

        I continue to be extremely suspicious of anything coming out of ‘corporate’. …to quote my favorite Canadian troubador….’all day sit and spin, spin your web and draw me in….spin, spin, spin, spin’ Lots of that going on in my view.

    • Richard Carte permalink

      Ted, Remmereit cleaned out his office the day after the vote and then would not respond to the orchestra’s requests to confirm that he would fulfill his obligations to conduct this month. There was no alternative but to hire outside conductors. This is not the kind of thing you can wait until the last minute and see if he shows up. The orchestra did the only responsible thing.

      • ted cichanowicz permalink

        Richard–this begs the more important question–why did it come to this in the first place? It speaks volumes to the total dysfunction of the Board that one would be ‘fired’ so abruptly in mid-season but that it wouldn’t be ‘effective’ until the end of that season. Where does that EVER happen in the real world? When someone is told we don’t want you anymore; it is made so very public; and then he is told, ‘but you are still here thru August 2013’–is there any doubt Mr Remmereit had to wonder how many screws were loose in this organization? How could a man function under those conditions….and the Board knew it. Their actions were and continue to be deplorable.
        Finally, I shared the great community love for recently departed Maestro Seaman. If he is on board with this mess as has been reported, I think I will now love him less. I hope its not true.

      • Ted, I believe that “Richard Carte” (D’Oly?) is actually the RPO staffer who arranged by September 1st, a full list of replacement conductors for the balance of Arild’s 2013 season. Don’t be fooled into a serious discussion. This person knows too much.
        Ted, I hope I will see/meet you at this evening’s meeting. We already have an overflow crowd!

      • Richard Carte permalink

        Ted, I agree that it is unusual that the decision to terminate did not take place right away. I don’t know why the board made that decision (and I’m not going to second guess it). In my life I have been fired and walked to the door, and have been let go and remained on for a time. Regardless, I was responding to the comment that getting the replacement conductors is reprehensible. Whether the board had asked him not to return or Remmereit decided not to complete his contract, replacement conductors would have been necessary.
        I’m just upset over the whole public argument and efforts to force Remmereit back in. I have been to concerts since the announcement. I appreciate your strong feelings about this, and you don’t speak for the audience or the community. There are a lot of different feelings. The audiences since the announcement (the ones I have attended and the ones I have not, from what I hear) have been among the strongest showings of any over the past few years and have responded enthusiastically to the performances. Fundraising in the aftermath of the announcement (from what I hear from one of the musicians who called about renewing my support) has been strong.
        I believe the community is behind the orchestra. And I think this whole effort hurts it. Agree or disagree with the decision, let’s just get past it and move on.

      • Fass Martin permalink

        “…let’s just get past it and move on” writes Richard Carte. That’s what is suggested so often in our lives, it seems, from the tragedy of children killed by guns to the dismissal of an orchestra conductor. I’m sure that the RPO Board wants money and applause and no more booing, and a short memory (or none at all) of the man with the clear ability to bring out wonderful qualities in every concert he offered to us.

        But just we’ll have plenty of fresh killings so long as we have guns, we’ll have people who claim to love music and musical artists who will prompt orchestras to die.

        I have no choice to hope. And the first hope right now is that there will be a reconstituted RPO Administration and that Maestro Remmereit will decide to accept an offer to stay with us.

      • Martin,
        You know what you are talking about. And Ted, it was a pleasure to meet you tonight at our RPO Community Supporters meeting, and to know you were one of nearly 225 orchestra patrons who came out in support of Maestro Remmereit and a better future and leadership for the RPO.

        Richard Carte, you speak the party line and you see what you want to see. The booing, the checks that the RPO, which so desperately needs money, returned to donors because they wrote a stipulation on the bottom that the money be used only for concerts which Maestro conducts. These are just a few of the ways the paying audience shows their dislike of this ill-considered move.

        Perhaps you time would be better spent defending your CEO’s reprehensible behavior.

        Finally, the holiday season always has the highest ticket sales for any orchestra. Take a look at what is happening now. The RPO is even spending a lot of money trying to fill the Botti concerts. Normally, these would sell out almost on their own. The stakeholders, the audience, are speaking, Mr. Carte. You just choose not to listen.

      • Fass Martin permalink

        A few typos above, so I will try again: (nobody is perfect)

        “…let’s just get past it and move on” writes Richard Carte. That’s what is suggested so often in our lives, it seems, from the tragedy of children killed by guns to the dismissal of an orchestra conductor. I’m sure that the RPO Board wants money and applause and no more booing, and a short memory (or none at all) of the man with the clear ability to bring out wonderful qualities in every concert he offered to us.

        But just as we’ll have plenty of fresh killings so long as we have guns, we’ll have people who claim to love music and musical artists who will prompt orchestras to die.

        I have no choice but to hope. And the first hope right now is that there will be a reconstituted RPO Administration and that Maestro Remmereit will decide to accept an offer to stay with us.

      • Fass Martin permalink

        AND not just ANY conductor, are we advised to get past. Merely the one who is perceived by virtually every person in the RPO audience as outstanding in many ways. Expendable, right, if those in charge say so and are happy with themselves.

      • Fass Martin permalink

        Almost forgot. If one DOES object to the firing, as I’ve been told several times, it is obviously because I know nothing. There we are. I assume they will still accept money from a Know Nothing.

      • Dear Richard D. Carte: Before we will permit you to post anything further
        on our website, we need you to identify yourself further. You purport to
        speak from personal knowledge about personnel matters of RPO, Inc., yet we
        find no evidence of any Richard Carte who has any connection with the RPO
        orchestra, board, or administration. In fact, we find only one Richard
        Carte in New York and he lives in Brooklyn and is in his mid-seventies. The
        data from your comments locates you to be in the Rochester area.

  2. Fass Martin permalink

    Personal e-mail to the RPO office today:

    In response to your message, I see nothing to celebrate, not even Mozart’s birthday.

    No reflection on the “two exciting conductors.” Or the orchestra players.

    I am one who cannot and will not put aside my perception of the RPO organization, its management and directors, as standing in opposition to what is essential in order to have a creative symphony orchestra presence in Rochester. I will wait for a restructured RPO to convince me it is worthy, and trustworthy.

    In simple words, your behavior and conduct turns me off.

    Martin Fass
    527 Linden Street
    Rochester, NY 14620
    585-244-6366

  3. Ed Fiandach permalink

    I agree completely. I am deeply ashamed to have been associated with this reprehensible group of people. My question is this: How do these “Community Leaders” ever think that they will get a world class conductor to even look at this town when they have proven beyond all doubt that the present Board and managment cannot be trusted?

  4. Kris Nielson-Key permalink

    At last someone is expressing SHAME at being associated with the current situation, even if it is only to reside in the same community. I have long hoped for better from the greater Rochester public and many times over the last 30 years been SO disappointed. Towing the party line down the middle of the road is NOT A LIFE. Three cheers to Ed Fiandach for speaking out!

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