Lack of live music detracts from Nutcracker experience

The Eastern Connecticut Ballet is performing the Nutcracker ballet three times at the Garde Arts Center in New London this holiday season as they have for many years. They advertise 100 professionally trained dancers, four guest artists from the New York City Ballet, new sets placing the ballet in 1850's New London, yet these performances use a recorded orchestra. Funds were used to buy new sets, yet here we are listening to canned music coming from the Garde's sound system, rather than paying a live orchestra to play in the pit.

The paying audience, dancers, patrons and volunteers deserve better. Tchaikovsky's music, that we all love so much, is a big part of the reason that the Nutcracker is so popular and such a staple during December. Instead of the sonorous sounds of a real orchestra, the audience at the Garde hears instead the stale sound of a prerecorded soundtrack.

Eastern Connecticut Ballet management, please bring back live musicians in the pit next year so that your staging of the Nutcracker will truly be a fully professional performance.

Jonathan Towne



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