Pittsburgh ballet to use recorded music

The financially struggling Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will is switching from a live orchestra to recorded music. It will save about half a million dollars, theatre officials said.

The decision was made Monday by the theatre's board of trustees, board President E. Jeanne Gleason told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for its Tuesday edition.

Gleason also said the board has eliminated and consolidated positions to save money but expressed hope that the theatre's orchestra will be back after the 2005-06 season.

Oboist Cynthia Anderson, who is co-chair of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra Committee, said she feels the announcement may be a negotiating ploy. The musician's contract expired at the end of June.

But ballet officials say the move will save about $500,000 (Ђ410,000), and is among several steps taken to trim its budget by about $1 million (Ђ820,000 million), down to $6.4 million (Ђ5.24 million).

It's unclear how many ballet companies use recorded music. The Miami City Ballet in Miami Beach, Florida, began using recorded music about eight seasons ago, the AP reports.

"It's always a heartbreaking thing to do, and the thing we do last," Miami artistic director Edward Villella said.

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