Sunday, September 21, 2003

Tall Stacks too noisy for classical show



Why didn't the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which is booking rock acts for Tall Stacks, book any music for classical tastes?

"I don't want to hear those rock groups, but I'd go for Baroque," says Carolyn Flory, a symphony and opera subscriber. "It wouldn't have to be totally highbrow."

Flory suggests getting a river barge - like New York's Bargemusic - to hold soirees on the Ohio.

Mike Smith, vice president and CEO of MEMI (Music and Entertainment Management, Inc., a subsidiary of the CSO), who is booking the shows, says violins would be drowned out by the riverboat whistles and calliopes, and music lovers would be disappointed.

In addition, there is no room to add a barge.

"She's got a wonderful idea, but I have run out of river space," he says. "We have 230 excursions in and out of the harbor - it's a massive traffic control issue."

All stages for music will be away from the river, to allow boats complete access to the riverfront, he says. As for entertainment, he has booked music that is "very roots, very river cities and very Americana." But it's possible that a "barge music" idea would work in off years, when there was no Tall Stacks.

Janelle Gelfand

Guide to Tall Stacks




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