According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the move should save the company $500,000 in its 2005-06 season. E. Jeanne Gleason, chair of PBT's board of trustees, says she hopes to bring back the 40-member Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestra for the 2006-07 season.
The company is reportedly trying to cut its budget by $1 million, to $6.4 million. Its 2005-06 budget, according to an earlier article, is balanced.
Although Gleason cited other companies that use recorded music for performances, musicians believe that the move will spell disaster for PBT. Cynthia Anderson, an oboe player and and chair of the orchestra's committee, told the Post-Gazette, "Maybe they do that in Scranton and Backwoods, Tennessee. But Pittsburgh audiences come because they are sophisticated, because they expect artistic excellence."
Earlier this year, it was reported that contract negotiations between PBT and the orchestra had stalled, with the company asking the musicians to take a pay cut. PBT ended its fiscal year without a new contract for the orchestra.
The company will honor all requests for ticket refunds.