The Philadelphia Orchestra has offered an explanation as to why they sat idle while a recording of another orchestra was used during an opera selection performed by Aretha Franklin this past summer. From today’s Philadelphia Inquirer :
“unbeknownst to orchestra and Mann officials until intermission, Franklin chose to be backed by a recorded orchestra during her opera arias, while Philadelphia Orchestra musicians sat with their instruments in their laps.”
Although I feel that any performer should be happy to be able to use the resources of a world class orchestra, I understand now why this happened. As a musician, I understand the disappointment but also understand the simple fact that “the show must go on”. Any disruption would surely anger the over 7,000 patrons waiting to hear the second half of the concert. Net outcome, the concert raised over a quarter of a million dollars for arts education.