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Contract Basics

Getting Back to the Music

Amid the flurry of day-to-day activities—being immersed in bylaws, finances, budgets, audits, and convention preparations—we tend to forget what we’re here for, the creative forces we represent: music, musicians, performers, and art. At times, we must step back and enjoy the music. Spring is here. Take in a Broadway show and treat yourself to the finest in opera, at the Met.

Over the weekend, I attended Don Pasquale, a time-honored opera, which premiered at the Met in 1900. I found myself in the Family Circle, a modest ticket of $35. The usher assured me I would not be disappointed, and that the acoustics in these seats were exquisite. He was right. (It happens he was also a member of Local 802, New York City.) The orchestra sound was perfect.

Next, it was on to Broadway for An American in Paris. If there is a Broadway play with old-school charm it’s this one—a post-war romance of hope and reconciliation. A full pit orchestra, the score by Gershwin, and performances were staged to perfection. The voices and the dancing were simply fantastic. Again, I was not disappointed.

Apropos remembering music: I want to mention a giant in the music world we lost recently—Frank Sinatra, Jr., who was also a loyal union member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA). On three different occasions I was involved in his productions in North Lake Tahoe at the Cal Neva Resort and Casino. He always insisted on bringing in a full complement of musicians—fine players, all renowned in their own right. Frank, Jr., was gracious and worked around our dates, and never turned us down, saying, “Pops loved this place.” 

Indeed, Sinatra, Sr., did love the Cal Neva, having been an owner at one time, hence, the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Showroom. Frank, Jr., was a true gentleman, a musician of the first order. As his father’s musical director and conductor, he understood composition and mastered the technical side of production as well. For instance, he selected lighting and a specific soundboard, which always guaranteed a flawless performance. After each and every run Frank, Jr., would take everyone involved in the show out for an evening of fine dining. 

What a gentleman! He will be missed.