Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: a Merger Proposal Essay

1063 Words Oct 8th, 2012 5 Pages
Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A Merger Proposal

The Utah Symphony (USO) and the Utah Opera (UOC) Merger was a union that was brought forth by the leadership committee at the USO in Salt Lake City. The proposal was an opportunity to strengthen a struggling symphony with a financially sound opera company. Although mergers between opera and symphony companies in the United States had been successfully in the past, the merging of a two major companies had yet to materialize (Delong & Ager, 2005, p. 2). William Bailey, Chairman of the Board for the Utah Opera Company had motivation to move forward with the merger. Successfully combining the two companies the size of Utah’s Opera and Symphony Orchestra would be a first in the nation, and set
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Through Ewers’ leadership, musicians could add variety to their repertoire, giving them access to a broader spectrum of performances. Performing with the Opera would allow for additional productions each year creating rotations for instrumentalists wanting to crossover and perform in both genres. Combining the two styles could create a pop style opera that could potentially reach the younger demographic, once again increasing revenue. Although Ewers’ experience was primarily in opera, it is her positional power and knack for building fiscally sound companies that made her the easy choice to lead both companies. While the symphony struggled at fundraising, Ewers’ UOC annual budget grew 3X from her predecessor, mainly due to her corporate sponsorships that reached beyond the state of Utah (Delong & Ager, 2005, p. 3). One of Ewers’ first challenges was to get Keith Lockhart, Music Director for the USO onboard with her plan on how to merge the two entities. Lockhart’s concern was the proposed organizational chart that showed him reporting directly to Ewers rather than the Chairman as he had with the USO (Delong & Ager, 2005, p. 14). Ewers personal

strengths allowed her to share her vision with Lockhart, however she was dependant on Lockhart’s leadership among the orchestra to help facilitate a smoother transition. The success of the USUO moving forward could only happen with the collaboration of the musicians. It was they who held strength in numbers, and without them
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