The 76-year-old company is currently restructuring its $2.7 million debt, according to a statement. The orchestra musicians will be offered a severance package; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that there has been no comment as of yet from the local musicians' union. The change should not be too dramatic for the dancers, the papers says, as the Atlanta Ballet already uses recorded music for its traveling shows and for rehearsals.
"After several months of negotiating with the orchestra, the ballet has come to the difficult determination that this is a necessary financial decision so that Atlanta Ballet can continue its overall mission," said David Tatu, director of production, in a statement. "As stewards of our patrons' support, we believe that we are offering the highest caliber of music within the context of what we can responsibly afford at this time. This is an action step on the road to a secure and lasting future for Atlanta Ballet."
The 2006-07 season's productions, which reportedly will all now be accompanied by recorded music, include Giselle, The Great Gatsby, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
The Atlanta Ballet was founded in 1929 by Dorothy Alexander as the Dorothy Alexander Concert Group, which later became the Atlanta Civic Ballet and, in 1967, the Atlanta Ballet.