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Now that the Orchestra has announced the cancellation of its scheduled November performances – in addition to those already canceled – there's something both sides would be wise to note:
Specifically, that Louisville is learning to live without you.
I'm not saying the city is better off without you. But for the first time in many years, Louisvillians are experiencing life without an orchestra. And they're discovering that life really does go on. Arts patrons still have plenty of other live entertainment options such as Actors Theatre, the Ballet and the Opera. And they can also use that Orchestra subscription money to dine out a few more times or take in a ball game or two.
The point is, nature abhors a vacuum. The longer the adversaries in the Orchestra dispute refuse to agree, the vacuum they're leaving in the local arts scene is quickly filling up. And there are no guarantees they'll regain their piece of the pie when they finally return.
The Orchestra and its players need to realize that the classical music audience is not only passionate and loyal, but it's also relatively small. Testing its loyalty is hardly a wise strategy in an "out of sight, out of mind" world. And while a future without a Louisville Orchestra is certainly undesirable, it's definitely not unthinkable.