Musicians deny orchestrated attack on opera

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A musicians union is denying it orchestrated the cancellation of an opera in West Hartford that was to be performed using digitally sampled music.

The Hartford Wagner Festival planned to perform “Das Rheingold” in August without an orchestra by using digital samples from instruments to play the notes in the score.

The performance was cancelled last month after several performers resigned from the production. A posting on the festival’s web site claimed the singers and music director had been threatened with loss of future work by the American Federation of Musicians.

The AFM issued a statement Friday saying it did no such thing and had not coordinated the criticism, which included hostile postings on the festival’s Facebook page referring to the production as, among other things, operatic karaoke.

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