Orchestra sues producer over opera staging

By Justin Anderson | Aug 4, 2009

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is suing a production company, saying it was forced to put on a lesser performance of Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme" because of the company's failure to do required work.

The orchestra filed a lawsuit July 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Impresario Productions of Kintersville, Pa.

The lawsuit says the parties entered into a letter of agreement on Dec. 12, 2007 for a planned, fully-staged performance of the opera on May 16, 2009 at the Maier Performance Hall Theater in Charleston.

Under the agreement, Impresario was to engage all guest talent and obtain scenery, costumers, props, wigs, makeup, technical support staff, a chorus and arrange for the travel and housing for guest artists. The agreement also called for Impresario to provide a rehearsal pianist, the lawsuit says.

For its artistic services, Impresario was to be paid $12,500, the lawsuit says. The orchestra paid the company $8,000 before terminating the relationship on Jan. 14, 2009, claiming Impresario breached the contract.

As a result, the orchestra claims it had to put on a semi-staged production of the opera.

The lawsuit says Impresario refuses to give the $8,000 back.

Stephen L. Thompson is representing the orchestra. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-1304

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