Met Orchestra’s Players Turn to Social Media
Posted by Melissa Wimbish (via The New York Times)
Sounds like Operagasm has some hefty competition!
Sometimes the musicians post behind-the-scenes tidbits, like some decades-old advice a viola player found penciled into her part for “Andrea Chénier” by one of her predecessors: “whatcha da mice!” — meaning watch the maestro in one tricky passage.
But the recently revamped website by the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra — imagine a cross between Opera News and BuzzFeed — also has info-graphics (“Reeds by the Numbers” explains the hours it takes woodwind players to make reeds for their mouthpieces); offers a look at how the audition process recently chose one player from the 208 who had applied; and has an interactive quiz to help newcomers decide “What should your first opera be?”
The ensemble’s website (metorchestramusicians.org) was recently overhauled by a group of its web-savvy younger players: an Internet start-up born in the orchestra. But right now it is as notable for what it does not dwell on as for what it does. While the site raises the public profiles of musicians who often play out of sight in the pit, none of the posts published so far have been about the orchestra’s current labor talks, as the Met seeks concessions from the musicians and its 15 other unions. (A “Negotiations” link redirects readers to the website of the musicians’ union.)