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Bad News on Good Friday: Radio France Cancels Passion Performance Due to Strike

Radio France CEO Mathieu Gallet, who has been criticized for spending during the current strike and potential budget-related layoffs

Radio France CEO Mathieu Gallet, who has been criticized for spending during the current strike and potential budget-related layoffs

Radio France has cancelled the originally scheduled broadcast of Bach’s St. John Passion due to ongoing strikes which began on March 19, 2015.

Potential budget cuts have threatened to eliminate 100 of the company’s 300 staff members, including journalists and other media workers, due to outsourcing of jobs, changes in production, and the elimination of one of its two orchestras.

Radio France, which receives 90% of its funding from the state through license fees, reported a deficit of of €21.3 million in January and was forced to adopt a projected budget deficit.

Amid budget cuts, the Radio’s new CEO Mathieu Gallet has been criticized for spending €100,00 euros renovating his office, which explained was planned before his arrival in 2013.

Though talks were held between management and unions on Monday this week, no resolution has yet been reached, making the current strike the longest in the station’s recent history.

Tenor Michael Schade, scheduled to participate in the performance of the Passion for Good Friday, reported on facebook in several posts:

Johannespassion cancelled for tonight. Thanks for all those who sang and played their guts out yesterday with Maestro Gatti. Management has locked out the players and cancelled all this weekend.

After being all packed and leaving for the airport , and having booked the new flight home, cancelled the hotel, they called back in a panic to say– wait maybe we will do it- please stay, we will reimburse all- maybe we’ll just record it for the radio, perhaps for a small audience, or maybe for us , or maybe not all -Mon Dieu- never seen anything like it!!

At 1620 we were told that they have no hall to play in after all…so now it’s cancelled for a SECOND time today….now supposedly it’s because of all the people working at the hall on strike…( ??? No clue they still sound locked out to me) I have no clue…trying to go home, missed the flight I had booked, prices for changes horrendous at this point, supposedly the maestro and the musicians will gather in front of the building and show defiance by playing “something ….already the chorus sang Bach Johannespassion chorales in the Lobby of the Radio France building to huge ( be it internal) applause the other day…it’s all really sad and unfortunate and aggravating to say the least.Seen my share of stuff but nothing like this!!!!!

 

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