Thursday, February 17

Les Miserables musicians to audition for places in new larger orchestra

Some of the 11 musicians in the orchestra of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End have have played for the show since it opened 25 years ago. They have now been told they will have to audition for a place in an enlarged orchestra of 14 which is going to play new arrangements that were used on last year’s 25th anniversary UK tour

Cameron Mackintosh has told The Stage that he hoped some of the current orchestra members will remain with the show, but the updated score has new “doubling and trebling” (which relates to the number of instruments each musician is required to play as part of the orchestra) and this was one of the reasons why current players were having to audition.

In a statement to The Stage the show's writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg said the new orchestrations “are in parts more difficult to play than the original and require some adjustments to the orchestra line-up. Nevertheless we fervently hope that many of the current orchestra will remain with us in the continuing life of Les Miserables,”

Nick Allott from the Mackintosh office said the new orchestrations are “more acoustic in nature and rely less on electronic sounds”. This will mean the sinfonia will no longer be used.

The Musicians’ Union declined to comment.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they have come clean at last but this still looks like a sacking of the whole orchestra to me.

Theatre Spy said...

Certainly sounds like they are holding all the cards ....

Anonymous said...

All very suspicious....nasty and very underhand....loyalty means clearly means nothing.....

A new fixer is being appointed too.....and of course he/SHE will be booking their own players.

Les Mis production company and MU: You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

when will the new orchestrations begin to be used in the London production!?

Theatre Spy said...

When the next cast change takes place. Simon Bowman, Norm, Lewis, Gareth Gates, etc, do their last performances on Saturday 18th June and the Queen's Theatre then goes dark until Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas open on Thursday 23rd June.

These few days will be used to remove some of the front row seats (to extend the pit to accommodate the larger orchestra) and for tech and dress runs for the new cast.

When the new orchestra is in place the new orchestrations will be introduced.

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