The wretched economy has snared another local ensemble. From etiquette-smashing Fringe Atlanta to the period-instrument Atlanta Baroque Orchestra to the Gainesville Symphony, a community orchestra in North Georgia, classical music groups are scaling back their season to one concert — or folding up and waiting for better days.
New Trinity Baroque is the latest. Its April 24 concert has been canceled, or rather postponed till June 5, when it will transform into a fund-raiser titled “Monteverdi in Venice.”
In an email, New Trinity founder and harpsichordist Predrag Gosta wrote: “The reason for postponement is linked to New Trinity Baroque’s most recent financial troubles, caused by declining sponsorship support and the economic downturn…. Our audience is increasing but our sponsors have stopped giving or are giving less than before. Some of them are not even informing us when they changed their mind.”
Their February concert, devoted to Vivaldi, pushed the debt to over $5,000. “For some organizations, this may be a small amount. But for groups such as ourselves, $5,000 is enough to pay for the expenses of one full concert,” said Gosta, with evident bitterness. The early-music ensemble typically draws from local and imported musicians — flown in from across the U.S. — and in recent years has operated on a budget in the $25,000-to-$50,000 range.
Before canceling the April 24 concert, Gosta said, he considered two options: scaling down the event to a chamber setting — just a few players — or employing local musicians and thus eliminating the cost of air travel. “Unfortunately, some of the singers I would like to use for this concert are unavailable, because they sing in the Atlanta Opera’s production of ‘The Magic Flute’ that same day,” wrote Gosta. “Postponing the concert makes sense, we have already planned a Benefit Concert for June 5th, which is the day after we return from our week-long engagement at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival [in Charleston, South Carolina]. Moving it to that day will give us time and save us money.”
The June 5 concert, at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, will include tenors Leif Aruhn-Solén from Sweden and Mathias Hedegaard from Denmark and will explore great music by Claudio Monteverdi and his Venetian contemporaries Biagio Marini, Dario Castello and Giovanni Paolo Cima. Patrons with tickets for the canceled April 24 concert can use them for the June 5 event … or request a refund.