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This Week

Play On!

Louis Roney

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Barack Obama is our president, and we who disagree with him, but love America, wish him well.

Obama stubbornly opposes our drilling for oil on our own real estate, costing 13,000 Americans their jobs. (We have oil reserves deep underground here and in Alaska, as well as in shale, sufficient to last us for the next century.) Obama is now aiding Brazil to drill for oil to be sold in the U.S.! It is reported that a major shareholder in the Brazilian oil-drilling project is none other than globalist George Soros. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that Obama seems determined to weaken the U.S.?

Those who keep track of George Soros’ sometimes-clandestine activities may have noticed that wherever discord, strife and even chaos are reported in U.S. business and politics, Soros’ name is apt to be present.

Barack Obama as a senator berated George Bush for starting a war without congressional consultation against a foreign country that had not invaded our own shores (G.W.B. did consult Congress). Now, Obama is acting in direct contradiction to his own prior statements. This kind of game-playing seems to be habitual with the president.


Arts center

The diminishing number of musical performing arts organizations in middle-sized U.S. cities is discouraging, even alarming to me.

Having taught singing for 24 years in a Florida state university, I am well aware of the directional impetus and tastes of today’s average college-age student.

Concomitantly, some communities are planning great investments in building performance halls to serve shrinking audiences and ever-smaller numbers of performers.

When my b.w. and I settled here in 1980, and soon after founded the Festival of Orchestras, I found myself enthusiastically defending the Bob Carr Auditorium as a hall of acceptable quality. My advice to politicians and potential endowers along the way has been to spend modest money improving the Bob Carr — with its fine location, adjacent hotel, nearby Interstate 4 and copious parking — before getting into enormous debt to accommodate what looks to be shrinking future activity.

I am at an age when I likely will never see a completed $400 million performance arts complex in Central Florida.

In recent days, however, I have sadly witnessed the demise of the Orlando Opera Company and would not be surprised at the financial collapse of other local arts organizations.

As a former opera and concert singer who sang a great many performances in this country and Europe, I am sensitive to the “state of the arts” in communities I inhabit.

We all know the enthusiasm generated by thoughts of constructing great public buildings and high-speed and commuter railroads.

Minds much more educated than mine on the need, cost and operating expenses of such enterprises provide us with their opinions freely enough. Opinions, to be worth listening to, must, of course, be objective.

Let me add — The income tripod of an economically successful performing hall contains three financial legs:

  1. Money from ticket sales (a direct function of the number of saleable seats)

  2. Grants (municipal, county, state, federal)

  3. Gifts from foundations, private donors, corporations, etc.

These three sources must be energized and nurtured through informed polymorphous salesmanship to guarantee a viable hall.