Music Director Alan Gilbert was quoted in a March 26 article in The New York Times by David Belcher titled, "Musical or Opera? Stage Companies Are Drawing on Both Art Forms."
The article cited the Philharmonic's recent staged, full-orchestra production of Sweeney Todd in a discussion of the intersection between musical theater, opera, and symphony orchestras.
“‘Sweeney Todd’ is a great example of a piece that benefits enormously from being played by an orchestra onstage,” said Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic. “This is especially important today in an era where in the West End and Broadway you’re not always getting the effect of a full orchestra.”
Several of the musicals staged over the last decade by the New York Philharmonic have been broadcast on American television, including another Sondheim musical, “Company,” that starred Neil Patrick Harris, giving the Philharmonic an even larger profile and securing its reputation as an interpreter of American musicals (the recent “Sweeney Todd” will also air on television at a date still to be determined).
“Orchestras these days are called on to be more than just concert venues,” Mr. Gilbert said. “We are continuing to play Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, but the hope is to always expand our audience. It fits into a wider definition of what a philharmonic has to be in the 21st century.”