Minnesota Orchestra Forces Local Presenter to Cancel Deborah Voigt Recital

Classic Arts News   Minnesota Orchestra Forces Local Presenter to Cancel Deborah Voigt Recital
The Schubert Club, a St. Paul, Minnesota, presenter, has canceled a recital by Deborah Voigt because the Minnesota Orchestra is also presenting the soprano next season, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

According to Star-Tribune, the orchestra's contract with Voigt includes a local exclusivity clause, as do all of its agreements with guest soloists. Nevertheless, Voigt was booked both to give a recital at Ordway Center on November 15 and to star in a Minnesota Orchestra performance of Puccini's Tosca in concert in May 2006, apparently because of an oversight on the part of her manager, Columbia Artists.

The orchestra has said it will enforce the exclusivity clause, and the Schubert Club has canceled the recital rather than face legal action. As a result, the group's marketing efforts have been delayed, and it has been forced to throw out already-printed brochures.

"I thought that, since it was Columbia's mistake, not ours, the orchestra might make an exception, because it puts us in a tight spot," Bruce Carlson, manager of the Schubert Club, told the Star-Tribune.

But Minnesota Orchestra president Anthony Woodcock told the paper that the additional concert would reduce Voigt's "pulling power."

"Deborah Voigt is a megastar," he said. "It's a coup for us to have her singing Tosca."

"I admire the Schubert Club, and I admire Bruce's work," he added, "and so it's unfortunate that we're causing him some pain because of what we originally negotiated with Voigt's management. If her management had said 'No, you can't have her exclusively next season because the Schubert Club's got her,' we would have engaged someone else."

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