'Homeless' symphony could find new fans
The Honolulu Symphony will be displaced from the Blaisdell Concert Hall for a few months next year.
THE Honolulu Symphony didn't exactly get the bum's rush when the city decided to book a Broadway show at the Blaisdell Concert Hall
, which the orchestra has called home for decades.
Moving the symphony from its familiar environs will be jarring for musicians and audience, and will require both to adjust, but the change could end up doing good if the displacement and a retuned musical menu attract a wider following.
The city, which runs the Blaisdell Center, has tentatively reserved the concert hall for a Broadway production, rumored to be "The Lion King" road show, from September to December next year, a period when the symphony usually occupies the hall for the bulk of its season.
The Broadway musical stands to bring in more revenue than the symphony's performances, and city officials apparently found the extra money hard to turn down.
Blaisdell administrators have been working with the symphony for months to locate other venues, such as the Waikiki Shell and the Hawaii Theatre, so the orchestra won't be without a place to play.
As expected, some symphony supporters aren't pleased with the situation, complaining that acoustics at the other places aren't right for Dvorak and Tchaikovsky and will compromise the symphony's repertoire and programs.
True enough, but the change, though inconvenient, isn't necessarily a bad thing. As Tom Gulick, the symphony's executive director, noted, the situation is an opportunity for the orchestra to take on its own road show, going places it hasn't gone before. The symphony could reach people who ordinarily wouldn't be exposed to the excitement and beauty of the music.
Performing on the neighbor islands, in school auditoriums, hotel showrooms and other less formal venues might appeal to a broader range of music lovers and eventually lure them to the concert hall once the orchestra returns.
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